Westmeath Topic - 20 April 2017

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Westmeath Topic: 20 April, 2017



Thursday, 20 April,2017 • Issue No. 2356 • www.topic.ie





Kilbeggan Races aiming to build

on ambitious future programme



in Mullingar




Success for

local artists


Young family left homeless after fire • Mother due to be induced

As we went to press this week,

late on Tuesday afternoon, 18

February, a young couple with

two little children, aged 5 and

6, the interior of whose home

was destroyed in an accidental

fire last Tuesday, 11 April, and

who were lucky to escape with

their lives, were sitting in the

Atrium area of Westmeath Co.

Council offices, refusing to


Christopher Nevin, aged 30 and

his 27-years-old wife Mary, felt

they could not leave the offices,

after having been told there was no

accommodation available in

Mullingar, and that they could not

put a caravan into their back yard.

“I was told that even though my

house is completely boarded up,

with metal on all the doors and

windows, that I could lose the

house completely if I put in a caravan.

What are we supposed to do?

My wife Mary has to go into the

hospital next week, to have her

third baby induced, and we’ve

been asked by Christopher and

Brigid, with whom we’re staying,

to try to get a house, as we’re sleeping

on their floor on a mattress at

present. That’s thirteen of us in a

3-bedroom house, and I can understand

their problem,” Christopher

Nevin said.

“It looks as if they expect Mary

to have her baby on the streets of

Mullingar,” he said. “I’ve done

everything I can but its still square

one. I had to borrow my brother’s

jeans yesterday.”

“There is one law for the rich and

another for the poor,” he said,

explaining that he has been on disability,

after having meningitis as

a child, and is waiting for a heart


The Nevins told Topic that last

Friday, the Housing officer said

Contd. on page 2

Christopher and Mary Nevin, with children John Joe (6) and Alison (5) sitting in the Westmeath Co. Council atrium on

Tuesday afternoon.

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2 TOPIC • 20 April, 2017




St. Brigid’s School gets a

little bit country!


Final tickets on sale for

Life 2017


Wedding of Suzy Flynn

and James Breen




6 Dominick St., Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

PHONE: 044-9348868


Westmeath Topic is published by Topic Newspapers Ltd.,

6 Dominick Street, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, Ireland.

All general enquiries: +353-(0)44-9348868

Registered as a newspaper with the GPO, O’Connell St., Dublin 1.

All contents © 2016

Young family left homeless after fire

Contd. from page 1

the only house was out in Castletown

Finea, but they have no car or

any transport, and the two children,

John Joe (6) and Alison (5)

are in special classes in Presentation

Convent, Mullingar for speech

and language therapy.

“We would have to take the children

out of school for ten weeks -

the time I’ve been told it will take to

make the house fit to live in again,

if the work starts now on it - but we

can’t do that to them. How can I get

into the hospital from Finea?

“Mary Nevin asked us.

The said they had asked the

Council to put them in a B&B but

were told they could not do so.

The Nevin family, the picture of

whose home appeared on last

week’s Topic front page, explained

that just before 3.30pm on last Tuesday,

11 April they got a smell of

plastic or something burning.

“We thought it was upstairs, and

went up to look around the rooms,

and the children came up after us.

We found nothing, but when we

went out on the landing, there was

heavy smoke coming from under

the stairs, and we had to get down

past it,” Christopher Nevin told us.

“We were lucky, and thankful to

God we escaped with our lives, but

all we could save was some bits and

pieces, and we lost all our own

property,” Mr. Nevin said. “I suppose

I spent €5,000 or €6,000 I saved

on the house since we got it, and we

could get nothing done, like the

back yard shed,or anything else,

and we had just bought stuff for the

new baby, and we had got a new

cooker, and we’ve lost even our

clothes,” Christopher Nevin said.

“That’s why were staying here in

the Council offices until we’re put

out, Mr. Nevin said, pointing out

they were waiting for 3 hours

before anyone would see them,

untll after 2pm.

Mr. Nevin who showed a Topic

reporter the burned out furniture

in their backyard, following the

disastrous fire, and said they were

told the fire was from an electrical

fault and was accidental.

“I think it started under the

stairs, where we had the deep

freeze, which was full of food,” he

explained, showing us the badly

burned fridge, which appeared to

have a burned area under the metal

DID IT START HERE? - Christopher Nevin thinks the fire could

have started in their deep freeze, as the top part inside was


top cover - as if the fire could have

opriginated there, but they don’t


“All we know is that we’re in real

trouble, without anywhere to live. I

offered to sleep in a tent, if the

Council would find a place for my

wife and two children, after I told

them about her pregnancy, but we

were offered nothing, and told

nothing was available.”

How can so many strangers come

in to Mullingar and be given a place

to live, or put up somewhere, but

local people like us are just

ignored?” he asked. “Its not fair,

and I went down on my knees, to

ask the Council to help us, but all

they’ve done so far is treat us as if

we caused the fire, or didn’t need

any help.”

Mrs. Nevin said she was fearful

after being warned that if they

moved a caravan into the backyard,

they could lose their home completely.

“I don’t know what we’ll do, but

its a big worry to me now,” she told

the editor of Topic on Tuesday

shortly before 4pm, as he was leaving

the Council offices.

The Editor of Topic rang the

Council housing offices on Tuesday

morning before 10am, and successively

rang again, and left a message

and phone number, but

without any response, and just

before going to press, visited the

Council offices, and sought,unsuccessfully,

to speak to the Westmeath

Co. Council housing officer, to get

the Council’s viewpoint on the

plight of the Nevin family.

Eventually at 3.50pm, we were

told by a Council official from the

Housing office that the only person

who could help the media or speak

to them was Billy Coughlan, their

Information officer.

We were aware of the Council’s

approach, but as it normally takes

several days to obtain a reply

through Mr. Coughlan, who has to

consult beforehand with officials,

to give an official reply, we felt we

needed to make a direct approach.

Also, the Council offices were

closed on Friday evening and

closed on Monday, so not until

Tuesday morning, did we have any

opportunity to seek a comment.

We hope to publish the Council’s

views next week.


Christopher Nevin praised the

great help they got from their

neighbours as well as from his

brother and others, when the fire

broke out. “They all tried to help

any way they could, but we could

only get a few bits out, and the

Brigade took nearly half an hour to

reach us,” he explained. “We are

very happy at how much help we

got from Jamie and John Rhattigan,

Jason Matthews, Michael and

Rose Rowley, Martin and Jamie,

Michael and Patrick Nevin and all

the others, I can’t recall them all,

but everyone helped us during the

fire” he said. I have no insurance

on my property, so I’ve lost everything,

and we’re nothing for the

baby we’re expecting.”

Investigation under way by Westmeath GAA

Westmeath GAA is continuing to investigate an incident

which took place in a Mullingar hotel in the early

hours of Monday, 10 April. Westmeath County Board

Chairman, Sean Sheridan issued a statement on

Wednesday, 12 April, in relation to the controversy.

The statement read: “A member of the Westmeath

senior football panel was involved in an incident in

the early hours of Monday morning, 10 April. The

County Executive are conducting a full and thorough

Two arrested after significant

drugs find in Ballynacargy

Gardaí have discovered what has been

described as ‘significant amounts of drugs’ following

the search of a car and then the search of

a house in the Ballynacargy area.

The discovery began on Friday, 14 April, when

a Gardaí stopped and searched a car that two

men were travelling in. Gardaí discovered a

quantity of what is believed to be cannabis herb

and a quantity of heroin in the vehicle. Two

men who were in the car were arrested.

A follow up search of a house in the Ballynacargy

area on Saturday, 15 April, led to the

discovery of what Gardaí believe maybe ‘a significant

amount of cocaine’.

Both men arrested are local to the Ballynacargy

area. One of the men was charged and

appeared at Athlone Court on Sunday, 16 April.

The second man was bailed and is expected to

appear in court on Friday, 28 April.

investigation into the incident and will take whatever

action is appropriate when all the facts have been


Mr Sheridan is currently on holiday as is senior

football team manager, Tom Cribbin, but the matter is

set to be discussed early next week.

Separately, it is understood there has been disciplinary

action against members of the under 21 hurling

panel following an incident in Ennis.

House in Abbeylands set on fire

Gardaí in Mullingar are investigating an incident in which

a house in Abbeylands, Mullingar, was set on fire. The house

has been unoccupied for some time but it caught fire at

approximately 5pm on Saturday last, 15 April.

It is understood the house, number 75 Abbeylands, has not

been occupied for a number of years and that this is the

third time it has been set on fire since it has been vacant. The

fire began upstairs and the roof of the house quickly caught

fire. The Fire Service attended the scene but it is believed the

house has been damaged beyond repair. The house is situated

close to the C-Link road and a number of youths were

seen running away from the building a short time before it

caught fire. Thankfully nobody was injured in the fire.

The scene was preserved and examined by Garda technical


Gardaí have appealed for anyone who may have witnessed

anyone in the vicinity of the house at the time or anyone

who knows any information about how the fire started to

contact them at Mullingar Garda Station or phone them on



Youths throwing items

at cars a serious danger

for motorists

Gardaí are concerned at a situation

that has developed along the

C-Link Road, close to Ardleigh in

Mullingar. It is believed a number

of youths have been throwing

items at passing cars and this has

become a very serious issue.

On Tuesday of last week, 11

April at 7.55pm, a woman was driving

past in her car when her passenger

door was struck by a rock

which was thrown at her car. The

woman was fortunate not to be


Then, five minutes later, at 8pm,

a man reported that a branch of a

tree had been thrown at his passing

car and that the door of his

vehicle had been damaged.

Gardaí are continuing their

investigations into these ongoing

serious issues.

Trailer stolen

An air light cattle trailer was

stolen from outside a house in

Rochfortbridge between 10pm

and 11.15pm on Wednesday, 12

April. The trailer is valued at


Burglary in Ballynacargy

A fast food premises was broken

into in Ballynacargy between

11am on Monday, 10 April and

5.30pm on Tuesday, 11 April. The

burglar broke in through the rear

window of a house attached to the

fast food premises and gained

entry through the house, before

getting away with a small amount

of coins and number of soft


Break-in at Castlepollard

Hurling Club

Castlepollard Hurling Club on

the Pakenhamhall Road, Castlepollard,

was broken into between

12 midnight and 11.30am on

Wednesday, 12 April. The padlocks

of the clubhouse were cut

open and a drum of oil was

removed. The drum of oil was left

on the nearby pitch after some of

the oil had been spilled onto the

pitch and the padlocks were also

found nearby as well.

The break-in came just a couple

of weeks after Ringtown Hurling

Club in Whitehall, Castlepollard,

was also broken into.

Man arrested in


A man, who was refused service

in a bar in Main Street, Rochfortbridge,

was subsequently

arrested. The man was refused

service in the bar at 8.45pm on

Thursday, 13 April, but when leaving,

he broke a window of the

premises. Gardaí arrived on the

scene and arrested him and

charged him.

Car damaged in Grange

A block was thrown through the

window of a car which was

parked in the driveway of a house

in Grange, Mullingar, on Wednesday,

12 April between 2am and

3am. It is understood this is the

third time this particular victim

has been targetted and Gardaí are

investigating CCTV cameras in

the area.

Theft from Mullingar

Arts Centre

A man who was spotted stealing

items from a table in the

Mullingar Arts Centre was

quickly apprehended by Gardaí.

On Wednesday, 12 April at

12.40pm, a man took some items

that were lying on a table in the

Arts Centre but he was quickly

captured and brought to

Mullingar Garda Station.

TOPIC • 20 April, 2017

Great joy for local syndicate at Fairyhouse

There were scenes of

great celebration in the

winners enclosure

when Killaro Boy

landed the two-mile

four furlong Novice

Chase at Fairyhouse on

Easter Sunday. Trained

by Rathowen man

Adrian Murray, the

eight year old chestnut

gelding produced a

game display of jumping

on good ground to

win by nine and a half


With competent seven

pound claimer, Barry

Browne on board, Killaro

Boy produced an eye-catching

display to scoop the top

prize in the Agnelli Motor

Park Rated Novice Steeplechase,

worth €10,472 to the

winner. Owned by the late

Johnny Kerrigan, John

Victory and the Penrose

girls, the improving

national hunt star powered

up the home straight in

fine style to win emphatically

and was returned at

odds of 6/1, denying the

two joint favourites in the


Winning trainer, Adrian

Murray from Rathowen

was thrilled with the success.

“I’m delighted,” he

beamed afterwards.

“He did it well; I knew

turning for home he wasn’t

going to be denied. It was

his best display of jumping

so far; he jumped brilliantly.

He won on good

ground in a point-to-point

first time out and that

ground really suits him,”

he added.

Jockey Barry Browne

said it was a straightforward

win on board the progressive


“He was a bit keen over

the first few fences and he

got his own way in front

and jumped brilliantly. I

won a point-to-point on

him, so I knew him well,”

he remarked.

It was a proud and emotional

day for the family of

the late Johnny Kerrigan,

Slanemore, Mullingar, one

of the three owners of the

talented jumping star. RTE

pundit Ted Walsh was

quick to pay tribute to

Johnny and his good

friend, the late Cecil Ross,

who were terrific supporters

of national hunt racing

for many years and

Johnny’s wife Von and two

children, Kieran and Alice

were among the many people

celebrating in the winners


Killaro Boy had won his

previous race in Gowran

Park, beating The Gatecatcher,

and he really

quickened well on the good

ground last Sunday, leaving

the 12 rivals in his wake.

Andrew McNamara noted

that there may be bigger

times ahead for the improving

jumper, who clearly relishes

the fast ground.

The three owners all

brought plenty of supporters

and a bus load travelled

from Ballynacargy to support

the winner on the day.

There were great celebrations

afterwards and it will

(Above) Katie Penrose,

Michael O'Leary and

Niamh Penrose,

pictured at the

Fairyhouse races on

easter Sunday where

Killaro Boy was


(Right) Killaro Boy and

Barry Browne come

back after winning

"The Agnelli Motor

Park Rated Novice

Chase" at Fairyhouse.

now be left to Adrian Murray

to decide the next move

for Killaro Boy, but he is

clearly one to keep a close

eye on.







New Wheelchair

entrance for

Mullingar Train


Mullingar Train Station

will soon have the welcome

new addition of a wheelchair

accessible entrance

to the island platform

meaning wheelchair users

can now easily gain access.

Speaking to a spokesperson

from the station, Topic was

told that the entrance

would be open in time to

coincide with the facility’s

new timetable.

The spokesperson said

that work on the new

entrance had been ongoing

for the last 12 months.

An Iarnród Éireann representative

said that the

new entrance would be

open within a matter of

weeks. “Currently the situation

is that if there is a

wheelchair user on board a

train, we bring the train

across so they can use the

other platform to make it

accessible. Where we have

a situation is where we

have two trains crossing at

the same time and both

have a wheelchair user on

board but now this problem

has been eliminated by this

new access that will be

open within weeks.”

Auction this Sunday

at Carmelite

Centre in Moate

THIS Sunday, 23 April,

sees the return of an event

that has become a firm

favourite of bargain

hunters right around south


The Carmelite auction

takes place on Sunday

afternoon in the Pastoral

Centre in Moate and with

more than a hundred lots to

bid for, there is something

for everyone.

Fr. Jaison Kuthanapillil,

Carmelite Prior said that

the generosity of donations

this year has defied all

expectations, so that there

are some genuine bargains

up for grabs for the clever


The annual auction is

fundraiser for the

Carmelite Church, to help

defray heating costs and

other costs in maintaining

the church.

The auction gets underway

from 2 pm but bidders

can view items from early

afternoon. Lots include

household furniture, accessories,

garden equipment,

ornaments and tableware,

fuel and plenty more

besides. All donations are

of a very high quality with

many local businesses having

donated some very

attractive items for the auction.




Marian Darby, Lisa Darby, Dolores Darby and Eileen Glynn voiced their

concerns about the strike action at Bus Éireann.

AFTER a chaotic three

weeks, Bus Éireann services

returned to normal

last Friday after

more than 2,500 workers

at the company

went on strike on 24


They are now to be asked

to vote on recommendations

on redundancies, pay

structures and reform of

their duties and management,

which were issued by

the Labour Court. It is not

yet known if staff will

accept the proposals, but

the action to date has

already led to an estimated

loss of €500,000 a day.

Overall the transport row

cost traders, the company

and workers an estimated

€100million, while staff are

down €7million in wages

and the company lost more

than €10million.

With arrangements for

meetings of members and

the ballot due to be

announced in the coming

days, Topic took the street

to find out how much the

strike had effected locals.



One young woman, Lisa

Darby, said that the action

had resulted in general

confusion for many people

who were trying to get from

A to B. “It was very difficult

for my friends to get

down from the airport last

Saturday. They had to get

their parents to book tickets

for them and they were

waiting for hours. Just to

get down from Dublin was

very difficult.”


Student Meghan Ayers

was in agreement saying

the strike impacted on her

ability to get to her classes

at Maynooth University on

time. “Going to college up

and down, I had to get the

train but the train station

is the other side of town,

whereas the bus was just

across from my house.

Even the trains don’t go at

the same times so it has

been a bit of a pain. The

bus was so handy-it’s been


She said that she felt the

three week strike had been

excessive and had resulted

in further losses for the

insolvent company. “I think

there should have been

Martha and Laquitta Dunne voiced their views on

the three week strike.

some sort of limit to it

because how can they come

back from the money they

have lost on strike if they

are losing €500,000 a day?

They are already in debt

and that was the reason

they were going on strike

and now they are losing

that much money a day, I

can’t see them coming back

from that.”

She said that any further

industrial action for Bus

Éireann was likely to result

in their customers moving

towards private services. “I

got a private bus, Kearns,

to Kinnegad and then I had

to get a lift from Kinnegad

to Mullingar, but I reckon

that the private buses will

extend themselves because

they will get the business if

Bus Éireann is not running

and they will start going to

Mullingar. They are more



Reena Milmoe said that

the action had resulted in

the disruption of the lives

of many of the most vulnerable

people in society.

“I feel sorry for people who

aren’t able to travel to hospital

appointments or their

jobs have been effected

because they can’t get to

work if they are living here

in Mullingar and travelling

up and then there are students.”

She continued that while

she could see both sides of

the dispute, she felt that the

Student Meghan Ayers has

found it difficult to get to and

from lectures due to the strike.

drivers were unrealistic in

their expectations. “I do

think they are looking for

too much, especially when

you take other jobs where

people are getting minimum

wage, which has only

gone up very slightly since

the last budget. So you have

to balance the two- why are

they getting more than, for

example, people who work

in hotels, restaurants, cafés

etc. I think that the Luas

drivers were looking for a

bit too much as well and I

know obviously that is a

private company. I feel that

Bus Éireann saw that they

got what they wanted by

going on strike and followed



Her husband Christy Milmoe

said he believed the

workers should have supplied

a skeleton staff to

accommodate those that

depend on the service for

college or work. “Those

who felt the biggest impact

are people trying to get in

and out to work as well as

students. If they were

going to strike, I think they

should have put on a certain

amount of buses that

would accommodate students.

They have to get

their education and are

likely to fall behind in

studying and maybe even

miss exams.”


Helen Hunt shared a similar

view adding that she

believed the strike was a

result of poor management.

“You have the drivers

that are expected to

take all the cuts but those

at the top are not leading by

example. I think there is so

much frustration out there.

They had to do something,

it’s just unfortunate that

it’s having a negative

impact on the most vulnerable

in society. If the Minister

for Transport Shane

Ross can’t sort it out then

what is the point of having

a Minister for Transport.”


Emer Coyne also said

that she believed students

felt the absence of the service

more than any other

group. “My view is that it

was a pity that it went on as

long as it did. I think an

awful lot of people, particularly

students coming from

Dublin would have been

effected especially this

time of year when they are

doing exams.”

“I really did feel that

Shane Ross could have

been a little more proactive.

I think a lot of it had

to do with the fact that it

effected people in the country

and didn’t really effect

people in Dublin. As a bus

driver they have a lot of

responsibility and I feel

that they should be paid a

lot more than minimum

wage particularly down the

country where they do a lot

more than drive buses and

seem to have a key role in

helping people in the community

like the elderly and

the disabled.”


Steve Ennis said that he

believed the drivers had

reason to strike and

“shouldn’t just roll over

and do what they are

told”regarding the initial

proposals that were put to

them. “I suppose there is

two sides to the story but I

would be with the drivers.

As a Minister, Shane Ross

is doing as much as any

Minister would from any

other party so I couldn’t see

an issue there however I

think he should have

stepped in to get them

together a long before.

Their beef would be that all

other unions are getting

pay rises like the Gards and

the train drivers so I suppose

they would feel that

they are entitled to good

pay as well but instead it

was cut.”

He said that he believed

that if the Bus Éireann is

replaced by a private service,

it would not neccessarily

be a bad thing.

“Maybe that’s the idea

behind the whole thing and

why Bus Éireann have

refused to come to the

table. A private service

might make things cheaper.

Competition is always


Another student that

TOPIC • 20 April, 2017

Reena and Christie Milmoe voiced their

opinions on the Bus Éireann strikes.


Locals give their views on Bus Éireann strike action

Joesph Hunt, Helen Hunt and Collette Eades pictured at Harbour Place

Shopping Centre.

Topic spoke to said that

when the Irish Rail joined

the strike. “I get trains to

and from college in

Maynooth and they were

cancelled when they went

on strike with the buses

two Fridays in a row and I

missed a lot of mandatory

attendance classes. I had a

few friends who do take the

bus and they were worried

that they would miss

exams and I had one who

actually did miss one but

the lecturer let her away

with it. You understand

that they have to take a

stand but it has has caused

an awful lot of trouble.”

Antoinette Cullen agreed

saying that many of her

friend’s commute had been

disrupted. “I think it has

been unfair on students.

You have to get to college

and do your assignments

and when you have no

transport you are missing

out on attendance which

effects your SUSI grant. It’s

fairly hard to catch up on. I

have friends going to

Maynooth and they couldn’t

even get from Kinnegad

to Maynooth. There was no

buses going from

Mullingar to Athlone as

well and I know people who

were left without transport

even though they had paid

for their week’s pass.”

Bus Éireann workers

have returned to work,

pending a ballot in the coming


TOPIC • 20 April, 2017


Ballinagore Macra

Ballinagore Macra are

having a Charity Tractor

& Vintage Car Run on Sunday,

30 April in aid of

LARCC Cancer Support

Sanctuary. Cost of entry is

€25 with registration at

10.30am and the run will

start at 11.30am from Ballinagore

GAA Grounds.

There will be a barbecue,

raffle and refreshments on

the day. Both the charity

and the club would greatly

appreciate your support.





Our AGM takes place on

Thursday, 20 April at 8pm

in Bloomfield House Hotel,

Mullingar. Committee

members are asked to

attend for 7.15pm.


Our outing to Saints

Island is taking place on

Saturday, 22 April, as per

the last email update.

Meeting point is Saint's

Matthew's National School

Ballymahon - which as at

the Lanesboro end of the

town past the Catholic

Church and Topaz Petrol

Station - the school is on

the left hand side of the

road.) We will depart from

here at 10.45am at the latest.

Trócaire boxes

Trócaire has thanked

people from Co. Westmeath

for supporting its

2017 Lenten campaign,

which came to an end last

week. The organisation is

reminding people that Trócaire

boxes can be

returned to parishes

across the county.

To find out more about

Trócaire’s Lenten campaign

or to make a donation

visit trocaire.org or

call 1850 408 408.

Lecture on politics

For anyone interested in

local politics over the past

115 years, next week’s

illustrated lecture in the

Greville Arms Hotel, on 27

April is definitely a must.

Mullingar man, Bill Ryan,

for many years based in

Castlepollard, and a

retired teacher, is also a

keen political and local

historian, and follows in

the footsteps of the late

Micheál Conlon in this

regard, keeping up a great


Bill will speak on

“National Politics in Westmeath

1885 to 2000” and

illustrate it with many

slides, in the Greville

Arms at 8pm on Thursday,

27 April. It should be a

most fascinating talk, covering

the most interesting,

controversial and violent

periods in political history

locally. His lecture also

deals with the more recent

decades, up to 2000, when

the Long Count and the

Presidential resignation

and various other political

‘incidents’ in Mullingar

and Westmeath also hit the

national headlines.


Mullingar boxer Davy Oliver

Joyce turns professional


Mullingar boxer Davy Oliver

Joyce has this week announced

that he has turned professional.

Joyce, who boxed at the Rio

Olympics at the 60Kg weight,

announced on Monday of this

week that he was signing a professional

contract with the wellknown

MTK (Mack The Knife)

Boxing Promotions.

Since last year’s Olympics, Joyce

has taken a holiday and then spent

time in Philadelphia in America

where he looked into the whole

professional scene and spoke to

many people about his choices.

Joyce then returned home and considered

his options before officially

announcing he was turning’pro’.

On Monday, Davy released a statement

saying, “I’m happy to

announce that I have turned professional

with MTK. I am now officially

a professional boxer. I want

to thank the IABA and the Irish

Sports Council for all their help

down through the years. I would

also like to thank my coach

Dominic O’Rourke and my good pal


Eddie Bolger for their support over

the years”.

Speaking to Topic this week Davy

Oliver said, “I’m delighted I have

made the decision. This is something

I’ve always wanted to do. I

did all I could at amateur, then I

went on to the WSB, APB, and the

Olympics, so the time is right now

to turn professional.”

In signing for MTK Boxing Promotions

Joyce will joining up with

Irish professionals Paddy Barnes

and Michael Conlon, and the

Mullingar man is already looking

forward to his first professional


“I hope to announce details of my

first professional fight in the next

couple of weeks. I’m not sure when

it will be yet, but it looks like it

could be in Belfast.

I’ve been watching the pro ranks

for some time now and I’m aware

of some of the boxers, but I just

want to get into that ring and prove

how good I am. I’m very ambitious

and I believe I can be fighting for a

world title fight in the next two or

three years,” said Joyce, who will

be fighting at the 60Kg weight.

LEFT: David Oliver Joyce celebrates after beating Volkan

Gokcek, Turkey, in their Men's Lightweight 60kg Box-Off bout

in April 2016.

Local students win top prizes in Texaco art competition

Nicole Forster (15), from Wilson's Hospital School,

Multyfarnham, is a winner in this year's 63rd Texaco

Children's Art Competition. She is pictured with her

prizewinning work entitled ‘Portrait Of My Dad’.

€16,500 for Temple

Street Foundation

MEMBERS of the Dixon family, Killucan, who recently held a Tractor Run to

raise funds for Temple Street Hospital, travelled to Dublin on Tuesday morning, to

present their cheque for €16,576.68c to the Temple Street Foundation - their fund

raising division. Ger Donnellan on behalf of Temple Street Hospital, is pictured

(right) receiving the cheque from the Westmeath donors.

Pictured in Temple Street Foundation t-shirts are Ryan Dixon, who was a patient

in Temple Street’s ICU with meningitis and Tadhg, who is a current patient in the

hospital, visiting St. Michael’s C Ward. Pictured, left to right are John Dixon, Lisa

Wilson, Ger Donnellan, Aisling Dixon and Sheila Dixon.

Xier Lin (7), from St. Mary's Primary School, Mullingar, is a winner

in this year's 63rd Texaco Children's Art Competition. She is

pictured with her prizewinning work entitled ‘Sweet Cherries’

alongside her father Bin Lin and mother Xiao Ying.

FIVE Westmeath students have

won top prizes in this year’s 63rd

Texaco Children’s Art Competition.

In the 14-15 years age category,

third prize (€250) went to Nicole

Forster (15), from Wilson's Hospital

School, Multyfarnham, for her

work entitled ‘Portrait Of My Dad’

while first prize (€350) in the 12-13

years age category went to Amy

Zhao (12), from Scoil Na gCeithre

Máistrí, Athlone, for her self-portrait

study. Third prize (€125 Art &

Hobby gift voucher) in the 7-8 years

age category was won by Xier Lin

(7), from St. Mary's Primary School,

Mullingar, for a work entitled

‘Sweet Cherries’.

Other winners from Westmeath,

both of whom will receive a Special

Merit Award, are Emily Rose

McHugh (11) and James McHugh

(6), from Scoil Mhuire Loughegar

National School, Mullingar.

Prizes will be presented at an

awards ceremony in Dublin next

month, when all of the 126 top

prize-winners will be in attendance.


TOPIC • 20 March, 2017



Monday, 10 April

Council received almost 70

complaints of abandoned

cars in 2016

THE April meeting of Mullingar Municipal District was

told that 68 complaints were received last year about abandoned


Cllr. Johnny Penrose asked how many cars had been

removed and was told that of the 65 owners removed or

relocated vehicles but that this action was taken only

when they were contacted by the Community Wardens.

In some cases, warning letters had been issued and the

wardens are continuing to follow up on the three pending

cases of abandoned cars.

Cllr. Penrose welcomed the fact that action was taken to

follow up on the 68 complaints.

Property owner must

repair fence damaged

by burned out car

A property owner whose

fence was damaged

recently in an incident

involving a burned out car

may have to shoulder the

costs of repairs to the

boundary, it was learned at

the April meeting of

Mullingar Municipal District.

The boundary fence at a

property in the Kilbeggan

area was damaged when a

car was burned out and

local councillor Liam

McDaniel asked the Executive

if repairs could be carried

out to the fence.

The Director of Services

Martin Murray told Cllr.

McDaniel that boundary

issues are the concerns and

responsibility of the


Westmeath has too

many out dated signs

Cllr. Michael Dollard

OUTDATED, obtrusive

and misleading, the public

signs in parts of the county

leave a lot to be desired,

according to one frustrated

local representative, who

asked that Mullingar

Municipal District carries

out an audit on the condition

of road signage.

Cllr. Liam McDaniel said

that he has come across

many signs that are obsolete,

missing entirely in

some cases or despoiled by

vulgar vandalism.

He tabled a motion at the

April meeting of the

Municipal District to ask

that signs be upgraded,

cleaned or removed. He

said that an audit of the

public signs and the condition

they are in is urgently


In agreement of his

motion was Cllr. Michael

Dollard, who said that the

council need to take stock

of the signs right around

the area.

“Vandalised or hard to

read signs send a very negative

message to visitors

coming to the area. Some

signs are still in place that

are now out of date. A full

review is needed,” he said.

Director of Services Martin

Murray told the

monthly meeting that obsolete

signs have been acted

upon and he said that he

acknowledged the point

about a small percentage of

signage not being up to

standard. These will be

dealt with, he assured the




required for

gardening/light farmwork

Mullingar area.

Please contact

086 245 9235

Intimidation and fear spreading as

a result of antisocial behaviour

Calls for CCTV to be installed at Springfield tunnel

CALLS for the installation

of cameras at

Springfield tunnel to

deter the rising number

of anti social

activities were made

at the monthly meeting

of Mullingar

Municipal District.

Upon being told that

there are no proposals at

the moment to develop a

CCTV system at this location,

the members of the

Municipal District highlighted

the intimidation

felt by many as antisocial

behaviour is on the


The original motion was

tabled by Cllr. Bill Collentine,

asking for the cameras

to be put in place.

The Fianna Fáil councillor

said that antisocial

behaviour is a real problem

and the cameras would

be a deterrent to offenders.

“Is there no possibility of

placing cameras here even

temporarily. There is a

serious problem building

up,” he said.

Martin Murray, Director

of Services said that antisocial

behaviour was a

matter for the Gardai.

Cllr. Collentine insisted

that gardai could not be

present in this location 24

Review of uncut hedges

needed - McDermott

THE number of uncut

hedges in the Mullingar

area needs to be reviewed

by the local authority,

according to Cllr. Frank


Speaking at the April

meeting of Mullingar

Municipal District, Cllr.

McDermott also highlighted

the lack of compliance

on the part of some


“Some people will not

obey the notices and will

the council not take action

themselves?” he asked.

Martin Murray, Director

of Services informed the

meeting that 1,340 Hedge

Cutting Notices were

issued between September

2016 and february 2017. The

vast majority of the hedges

have been cut.

The members of

Mullingar Municipal

Council were informed

during their monthly meeting

on Monday, 10 April by

Martin Murray, Director of

Services with Westmeath

County Council that at present

a proposal for a 12 unit

social housing scheme in

Rochfortbridge is being

processed by the local

“We have found a great

compliance but we have

powers if we feel a hedge is

posing a threat to road

safety,” Mr. Murray added.

“The problem is that

many people live outside of

the area,” said Cllr. McDermott

of the instances of


He heard that while the

council can take remedial

action to deal with overgrown

hedges where necessary,

recoupment of the

costs involved is a complicated

and often fraught


The instances of hedges

not cut in accordance with

the notices issued this year

will be followed up with

landowners in September

of this year.


The subject of housing

was tabled in a motion by

Cllr. Johnny Penrose, who

asked if the Municipal District

would supply details

of the available land bank

for housing in Rochfortbridge.

Mr. Murray told the meeting

that the council has a

.29 hectare site at

UP to seventy Residents’ Associations around

the county received grants funding last year, it

was confirmed to Councillor Michael Dollard

this month. There is more good news for the

voluntary groups this year as the minimum

Cllr. Frank McDermott.



Castlepark, Rochfortbridge,

which could accommodate

8 units.

He said that the council is

aware of a proposal being

progressed by an approved

housing body for a 12 unit

social housing scheme.

The update was welcomed

by Cllr. Penrose who

thanked the Executive for

the thorough response.

amount that can be awarded by the local

authority has now increased.

Cllr. Dollard asked the question as to how

many groups have received funding at 2016 at

the April meeting of the Mullingar Municipal

hours a day and that action

needs to be taken.

Cllr. Michael Dollard

agreed and said that he

was aware of elderly people

living close by who feel

very intimidated.

“There was a very serious

incident at Springfield

recently and the first question

asked when it was

being investigated was if

there was CCTV footage. It

will always work and act as

a deterrent,” said Cllr. Dollard.

Cllr. Una D’Arcy told that

meeting that drone cameras

had been very effective

in deterring fly tipping

and illegal dumping. She

said that the activity of

some is causing vulnerable

people to feel unsafe even

in their homes.

Cllr. D’Arcy also wondered

if the Municipal District

could ask the

Planning refusal figures

in Westmeath “seem

excessive” - Dollard

FURTHER information is

being sought on a total of 51

planning applications

brought before Westmeath

County Council in the first

quarter of this year. In all,

seven applications have

been refused in the came

period, while 43 have been


The figures were supplied

by the Executive to the

April meeting of Mullingar

Municipal District, following

a query from Labour

Councillor, Michael Dollard.

“That figure of 51 seems

excessive. It seems to me

that we should be actively

Superintendent for

Mullingar how many applications

were made for

ASBOs in this district.

Cllr. Andrew Duncan said

that the use of dummy

cameras could be explored

as a means of discouraging

unwanted activity.

“For the most part, these

are children and their

behaviour can be turned

around,’ he said.

“When it comes to this

type of thing, community

policing is something I

would like to see


Mr. Murray said that

given the concerns of the

members, the issue can be

brought before the Joint

Policing Committee and

that this was the best

means of progressing a


encouraging people to bring

applications,” said Cllr. Dollard,

having reviewed the


Martin Murray, Director

of Services with Westmeath

County Council told Cllr.

Dollard that sometimes

applications come before

the local authority with an

agricultural nature, but not

all of the pertinent information

is included in the application.

In other cases, there

has been a lack of pre planning

meetings and seeking

further information is necessary

before a final decision

on the application can

be reached.

No repairs for

Glenidan cul de sac

THERE is no joy for six residents living along a cul de

sac in Glenidan as no repairs will be carried out by Westmeath

County Council to the road in this area.

The road is not a public road and therefore will not be

repaired by the local authority, though Cllr. Una D’Arcy

made an appeal at the April meeting of Mullingar

Municipal District for consideration to be given to this


“I know we don’t normally do this but there are six

homes on this road and could it be done as a one off gesture?”

Cllr. D’Arcy asked but was informed that council

policy would not be altered.

“I’m afraid we have to be careful about public/private

schemes,” replied Martin Murray, Director of Services.

Grants awarded to 70 Residents’ Associations in Westmeath

District and was told that seventy groups have

received grants awards of between €50 and


The €50 minimum has now increased for this

year, which was welcomed by Cllr. Dollard.

TOPIC • 20 March, 2017



Full steam ahead for documentary

featuring Mullingar and Royal Canal

MORAN’S pub at the

Hill of Down became

the perfect backdrop

for TV3’s latest docuseries

Jingle Jangle


The six-part series, due to

air in September of this

year promises to be a musical

journey along the Royal

Canal, celebrating 200 years

since the canal first opened.

As part of the show music

legends Jim Lockhart from

the Horslips, Fiachna Ó

Braonain of the Hot House

Flowers and Fiach Moriarty

take their music to the

water as they take the journey

from Croke Park to

Shannon on a beautifully

painted barge boat.

Along the journey the

musicians, as well as the

Dearg Films filming crew

have collaborated with

other musical acts such as

Niamh Farrell of Ham

Fiach Moriarty, Jim Lockhart and Fiachna Ó Braonain at the Kilpatrick stretch

of the Royal Canal for the filming of Jingle Jangle.

Sandwich, Finbar Furey of

the Furey Brothers and

most recently they jammed

outside Moran’s pub with

musical duo The Lost

Brothers. “There’ll be

thirty performances, and

thirty guest performers,”

said Brian Reddin, director

of Dearg Films and the

brains behind the concept.

For Jim Lockhart the guest

performances have been

the highlight of his time so

far on the project “It’s a

constant surprise and the

locations are just extraordinary.

Everywhere there is

huge variety from both a

musical and location context.

Texas native climbs Croagh

Patrick for Easter week

DURING Easter week,

people across the

country put on their

walking shoes to take

part in walking pilgrim

paths which

wind across parts of

the country.

Among them this year

was a young woman from

the US who has spent the

last several weeks working

as a reporter at the Westmeath


“I’ve been here for three

months since the end of

January and have been living

in Westmeath for all of

that time and I have been

travelling around Ireland

and seeing all the beautiful

places, Pilgrimage sites

and historical sites.”

Kathryn Carranco said.

Hailing from the Mexican

border, the 22-year-old said

she has always had very

strong faith. “Where I live,

the Mexian culture is very

strong and there is a great

Catholic faith in Mexico

which is my connection to

Ireland and in many ways,

it is why I wanted to come


Kathryn said that she

decided to climb and take

part in the Croagh Patrick

Pilgrimage after being told

about it by a friend. “I

never climbed a mountain

for a Pilgrimage and had

never actually heard of

that. Someone told me that

St. Patrick had done so in

his bare feet and stayed

there for forty nights and I

thought, ‘Well, if he can do

that, I can do it once at

least”, she laughed.

I thought it would be a

great experience before I

leave on Tuesday next


Kathryn was accompanied

by three friends who

hail from Milltownpass

where she is staying.

“Colm and Pauric Beglan

and Kevin Glennon came

with me and this year

marked Kevin and Colm’s

10th anniversary climbing

Croagh Patrick so they

decided to do it in their

bare feet just like the old

pilgrims did. I was behind

them saying the rosary the

whole way up and down. It

took a long time.”

She said that while the

day got off to a good start,

it wasn’t long before the

weather turned colder.

“When we got to that last

bend at the top it started

getting really cold and

misty and when we were

leaving it started lashing

rain. I had shoes on and I

was bundled up and I was

cold so they were really suffering.”

Kathryn said the experience

of reaching the top is

one she wouldn’t forget for

a long time. “I felt very

blessed to get to the top.

There was loads of people

there too. It was touching

to see so many people look

at the lads and say they

would get many graces for

walking in their bare feet

and say ‘good job’. It was


She said climbing the

mountain is very symbolic

Colm Beglin, Kathryn Carranco, Padraig Beglin and Kevin Glennon pictured

on the summit of Croagh Patrick last weekend.

of the trials and tribulations

everyone faces

throughout their lives.

“The whole time I was

thinking, “my legs are

killing me” but I told

myself to keep going and I

got to the top and felt so

blessed. The lads told me

they once saw a 90-year-old

man climbing the mountain

barefoot. I though if he

can do that, surely I can do

it with my shoes on.”

So would she do it again?

“Definitely. One day before

I die, I would like to do it

without my shoes as well. I

come from a very religious

background and it is

penance and we don’t know

how beautiful it can be to

sacrifice that way especially

for other people. One

of the lads asked for a special

intention from back

home and he carried it

with him and that’s why I

was praying for him the

whole way down because

he is carrying my pain so it

was really great staying

with him even though I was

really cold.”

Kathryn said she has

greatly enjoyed her time at

Topic and her time living

in Westmeath . “With all

my heart I really have. It

has been a beautiful opportunity

to really get to know

the people of Mullingar

and Westmeath and to see

what life is like here in a

small town in Ireland. I

have travelled a lot to many

countries but Ireland definitely

has genuinely very

nice people. You stop someone

on the road and ask for

directions and they say

‘thank you’ and ‘you’re welcome’.

People genuinely

want to help and they like

conversation. Ireland is


The Hill of Down was one

of the many locations of

the shoot but for cameraman

Gerry MacArthur, it

was definitely “one of the

greatest points on the trip.”

The presenters and main

musicians Jim, Fiachna

and Fiach put on a musical

showcase in front of

Moran’s pub Hill of Down

and a crowd began to form

to watch the three ages of

rock in action.

Last month, the trio visited

Mullingar where they

performed a number of

songs, including covers of

the late, great Joe Dolan,

accompanied by talented

local band Cronin at

Dolan’s Bar. The band are

among several high profile

artists already signed up to

take part in the show

including John Sheahan of

The Dubliners, Brian

Kennedy, Paddy Maloney,

The Chieftains, Mary




OPTIMA 2012 - 171 MODELS











Loughlan, Moya Brennan.

Johnny Cronin of Cronin

said the lads wanted to do

something a bit different

for the recording. “We got

the call from Jim Lockhart

and he suggested singing

‘Make Me an Island’ but

everyone does that song so

we thought we’d do something

else. ‘The Answer to

Everything’ by Del Shannon

was Joe Dolan’s first

hit and and we love that

song and did a version of it

with Red Rock’s Patrick


The concept for the documentary

came from director

Brian Reddin, who just

so happened to come across

a piece about the bicentenary

of the Royal Canal

and knew it was an opportunity

not to be missed.

Whilst not all singers may

have a connection with the

canal, the locations of

shoots and many of the

songs have links with the

Royal Canal, “Singing ‘The

Aul Triangle’ outside of the

jail itself, it doesn’t get

more connected than that”

laughed Fiachna Ó Braonain.

Brian said that while the

documentary is about the

canal, it is more centred on

the journey it takes the

passenger on. “It’s more

about the music associated

with the canal. It goes right

through Mullingar which

is the town of Joe Dolan,

The Swarbriggs, The

Drifters and even Niall

Horan and ends up near

Longford where we have

Declan Nerney and so

many other artists. We are

doing six half hour programmes

on it which is

impressive because the

canal is only 90 miles long

from Dublin to the Shannon

so you wouldn’t think you’d

get that much out of it.”

PEUGEOT 2008 1.6hdi 132 SILVER









Lough Sheever Corp. Pk, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

Tel: 044 9396565 • W: www.sleatorkia.ie



Margaret (Mag) O'KEEFFE (née Fay)

Ballinafid, Multyfarnham, Westmeath. Died

Friday, 14 April 2017. Reposed at Gilsenan's

Funeral Home on Sunday, 16 April, followed by

removal to St Nicholas' Church, Multyfarnham.

Funeral Mass took place on Monday, 17 April,

followed by burial in St Peter's the Rock Cemetery.

(Peigi) O'ROURKE (née Leslie)

Blanchardstown, Dublin/ Mullin-gar, Westmeath.

Died Tuesday, 11 April 2017. Reposed at

Cunningham’s Funeral Home, Blanchardstown

on Thursday evening, 13 April. Removal was to

St. Brigid’s Church, Blanchardstown, on Friday

morning, 14 April, for funeral prayers, followed

by cremation at Glasnevin Crematorium.

John (Séan) MOLLOY

Mearscourt, Rathconrath, Mullingar, Westmeath.

Died Thursday, 13 April 2017.

Reposed at the residence of his daughter Clare

on Friday, 14 April, with removal for funeral

service on Saturday, 15 April to St Matthew's

Church, Milltown, and burial afterwards in

adjoining cemetery.

Olive SHANNON (née Foley)

Knockdrin, Mullingar, Westmeath / Ballyfermot,

Dublin. Died Saturday, 15 April 2017.

Reposed at the TLC Nursing Home, Maynooth,

on Easter Monday, 17 April. Funeral Mass took

place on Tuesday, 18 April in St Mary's Church,

Lucan Road, Lucan, Co Dublin, followed by

burial in Esker Cemetery, Lucan.

KENNY, Joseph

Heathfield Road, Bushey, Hertfordshire, London,

and formerly Ginnell Terrace, Mullingar.

Died Saturday, 11 February 2017.

Memorial Mass took place on Easter Monday,

17 April in the Cathedral of Christ the King,

Mullingar, followed with interment of his

ashes at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Marlinstown,


MULCAHY, Patty (Patricia)

Cedar Park, Leixlip, Kildare / Celbridge, Kildare /

Mullingar, Westmeath. Died Saturday, 15 April

2017. Reposed at Reilly's Funeral Home, Leinster

St., Maynooth on Tuesday, 18 April. Removal

took place on Wednesday, 19 April to arrive at

the Church of Our Lady's Nativity, Leixlip for

Funeral Mass, followed by burial in Confey



Crookedwood, Mullingar, Westmeath / Kilbeggan,

Westmeath. Died Thursday, 13 April,


Reposed at Nannery's Chapel of Rest,

Riverview, Kilbeggan, on Monday, 17 April.

Removal was to St. James’ Church, Kilbeggan.

Requiem Mass took place on Tuesday, 18 April,

with interment afterwards in the Relic Cemetery,


MORGAN, Patrick

Moyvore, Westmeath. Died Tuesday, 11 April

2017. Reposed at the Nursing Home Chapel on

Thursday evening, 13 April. Removal took

place on Friday morning, 14 April to the Relic

Cemetery, Kilbeggan for burial.


The death has occurred of Tom HEALY

Dalkey, Dublin / Kinnegad, Westmeath. Died

Friday, 14 April 2017. Reposed on Monday, 17

April in Quinn’s of Glasthule. Removal took

place on Tuesday, 18 April to the Church of the

Assumption, Dalkey, arriving for Funeral Mass

followed by burial in Shanganagh Cemetery.

FOX, William Joseph (Willie)

Killulagh, Delvin, Westmeath. Died Monday, 10

April, 2017. Reposed at his home on Wednesday,

12 April. Removal was to St. Livinius

Church, Killulag. Funeral Service took place on

Thursday morning, 13 April, followed by burial

in adjoining cemetery.

FAGAN, Matthew

Ankerland, Fore, Castlepollard, Westmeath.

Died Wednesday, 12 April 2017. Removal was

to St Fechin's Church, Fore on Monday, 17

April. Funeral took place on Tuesday, 18 April,

with burial afterwards in adjoining cemetery.

Phillis WARD (née Baker)

London, England, and formely of Ballykilroe,

Ballinagore, Co Westmeath. Sadly missed by

her loving family, husband Christy (formerly

Graiguechlullaire Dunmore) sons Darren and

Kern, daughter Evelyn, brothers Des and Harry,

sisters Rita and Elise, extended family neighbours

and friends. Reposed at Glynn's Funeral

home, Dunmore, Co Galway, on Thursday, 20

April, with removal to the Church Of Our Lady

& St Nicholas, Dunmore.

Funeral Mass took place on Friday, 21 April,

with burial afterwards in Addergoole Cemetery.

TOPIC • 20 April, 2017



Insurance industry must be regulated, says Cllr. Collentine

A culture gone bananas! This

was the description by elected

representatives of the claims

culture and spiralling insurance

costs in this country, during

the April Meeting of

Mullingar Municipal District.

The Municipal District is to

issue two letters to the government,

both calling for the

introduction of regulations for

the industry, following a

motion brought by Fianna Fáil

Councillor Bill Collentine.

The Councillor and businessman

touched on a sensitive

subject that gave rise to a lively

discussion about the freewheeling

costs of insurance.

His motion asked that the

Municipal District call on the

government to appoint an independent

ombudsman for the


“Anyone in business will

understand what I’m talking

about,” said Cllr. Collentine.

Indeed, everyone in the

chamber understood and there

was sweeping support in the

chamber for this appeal.

Presentation JNS have the ‘whole world in their hands’

THE children at Presentation JNS

held their Action Day for Global

Citizenship on Thursday, 6 April.

Presentation JNS currently have

16 nationalities at the school.

Along with a colouring competition

on the theme of Reduce,

Reuse, Recycle, the school held a

food appeal for St. Vincent de Paul

in December.

The Green Schools Committee,

which consists of ten children

from first and second classes, have

done a lot of work researching

Fairtrade products. They used

their ingredients to make banana

cake which went down very well at

a cake sale on the day.

To highlight Global Citizenship,

the childrenlearned about what it

means to be global and on the day,

they dressed up in the colour of

their country's flag.

With claims worth tens of

thousands regularly award-ed

by the courts, costs of insurance

rising wildly, the compensation

culture is, according to

elected members, going from

the sublime to the ridiculous.

“I have no sympathy for

insurance companies. Just last

week, we heard of a woman

who visited a local hotel,

pulled her chair into a table,

banged her knee and received

20,000 in compensation. Have

we lost our minds?” demanded

a perplexed Cllr. Andrew Duncan.

“The claims culture is gone

bananas. Meanwhile, we have

people who are being refused

insurance on older cars with

an NCT, although they are

deemed road worthy. So people

are being forced to take out

loans to buy cars they can’t

afford. There is something

wrong there,” said Cllr Sorcha


“Insurance companies are

holding this country to ransom!

It is scandalous what is

One of the highlights of the day

was when local postman, André

Stalenbur, came to collect letters

written by the children.


The letters contain Flat Stanleya

character based on a book by Jeff

Brown. Flat Stanley will be sent on

an adventure all around the world

and the recipients will post back

photos of him in various locations

all around the world.

On the day, the school had a bake

sale and sold some Fairtrade goodies

and other confectionary to support

Tanzania Heavenly Homes, a

project run by local man, John


The children also participated in

an Around the World Quiz and

each class did a project on a different


going on,” agreed Cllr. Paddy


Councillors voiced the view

that quotes for insurance costs

were entirely at the discretion

of companies, who appeared to

pull whatever figure they want

from the skies. The reality is

that many property owners are

not taking out insurance,

despite the vulnerable position

this might create for them.

“Among the worst affected are

small and medium businesses.

No-one is looking out for

them,” said Cllr. Collentine

who tabled the original


Martin Murray, Director of

Services, agreed that a letter to

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will be

drafted, asking that this

appointment be made by the


In fact, not one but two letters

regarding this matter are to be

submitted, with Cllr. Ken

Glynn requesting that the second

calls for more stringent

independent regulations on

the costs of car insurance.

The motion was brought forward by Fianna Fáil

councillor Bill Collentine.

Green School Committee at Presentation Junior School. Back row, left to

right: Zuzanna Wojik, Abbey Rose Rooney, Jude Kimartin and Andrea Bura.

Front row, left to right: Oscar Flood, Samantha Adzangoa, Mindaugas

Nemeikstis and Aaron Rooney. Missing from photo are Dario Htihor and

Afra Khan.



THERE was great excitement

throughout Mullingar over the

past few days when rumours

began to swirl that after 15

years, much loved husband

and wife team Liam and Mary

Gilleran were to once again

take the helm of No. 1, Harbour

Street. The much-loved

husband and wife team Liam

and Mary Gilleran are pictured

back where it all began.

TOPIC • 20 April, 2017



Progressive 25


12 Games

James Rickard and Michael

Kavanagh, Patrick Maxwell and

Michael Keogh.

Table Prizes

Roe Lynch and Nora Ryan, Seamus

Maher and Seamus Lyons.

Last Game

Pat Gaffney and Michael



Damien Molloy, Michael Harte,

Jimmy Rickard and Michael

Kavanagh. The Jackpot of 14

Games wasn’t won. New players

are always welcome.


Progressive 25

Results for 12 April

Jackpot winners on 14 Games

were Roe Lynch and Michael


Second on 12 Games

Seamus Lyons and Seamus


Table Prizes

Mary Daly and Frank Ryan,

Larry and Nancy Ennis, Mary Barrett

and Dolores Wright, Des

Yeoman and Larry Gorman.

Last Game

Frank Seery and Tom Hanlon.


Jack O’Dell, Nora Ryan, Roe

Lynch, Rita Bentick, Nora McCormack.

Killucan Raharney

Golden Years Club

On Wednesday, 12 April Killucan

Raharney Golden Years

members got together in the

club for another fun-filled day.

Sympathy was extended to the

Hill and Judge families on the

death of Imelda. May she rest in


Get well wishes to anyone feeling

unwell at the moment.

We had Judy with a wonderful

selection of easy Easter dishes to

make and as always raffled each

item off so a lot of the members

went home with something nice.

We also had an Easter draw with

Easter eggs. Our birthday party

is on Friday evening, 28 April at

5pm. Members can bring a

guest. If transport is needed

please call the centre and we will

try to help. We look forward to

seeing you all then.

Milltownpass CAG

A great turnout was had at the

annual 25 card drive in Milltownpass

Community Centre on

Friday, 7 April. Over 70 players

battled it out, and had a great

laugh as they changed from

table to table.

It all ended in the winners

enclosure, with great camaraderie

along the way there was

refreshments on the night, and a

raffle took place in between

The group would like to thank

all players, and much appreciation

was given to all the volunteers

for their hard work. A

special thanks must go out to

Mrs Mary Manning co-ordinator

of the event and to the community

for their continued support

of this now cherished annual


Jason McCabe, Joe Nangle, Frank Conway and Michael Hynes.


THERE were tired but

happy faces at Coláiste

Mhuire on Saturday

morning as cyclists

glided down the path to

the school gym to have a

well earned rest. They

had just returned from

a mammoth cycle in aid

of Good2Talk Mul -

lingar, Pieta House

Athlone and Good2Talk

Longford. Participants

took part in one of the

three individual legs -

Mullingar - Athlone (42

km), Athlone-Longford

(55km) and Longford-

Mullingar (43km)- while

experienced cy clists

who wanted more of

challenge, completed

the full 140km route.

Also present on the day

was Taoiseach Enda Kenny

who joined participants in

the sponsored cycle, which

proceeded via the greenway

to A.I.T before continuing

to St. Mel’s in

Longford and back to


One of the volunteers

was Aideen Ginnell who

helped with the organisation

of the fundraiser and

acted as a marshall

throughout the day. “The

idea was to bring the three

mental health charities in

Mullingar, Athlone and

Longford together. It was

Pat Gavin’s (CEO of

Good2Talk) idea to do the

event through the HSE

strategy Connecting for

Life, which is Ireland's

National Strategy to

reduce suicide. It’s about

bringing all the services

together and ensuring that

everyone in each part of

the two counties knows

where they can get help if

they need it. The cycle

started from Mullingar

this morning from

Good2Talk then went on to

Athlone into AIT and that

was for Pieta House, and

then across and that was

for the Longford mental

health services and back.”

Aideen said that she,

along with the other volunteers,

were delighted with

the turnout of well over

one hundred cyclists, especially

as it was the first

year that the event had

taken place. “I think everyone

really enjoyed the

Greenway part. It gets

tricky when you hit the

roads because we obviously

had different levels of

cyclists so you’re trying to

make sure everyone is safe.

It was great, we’re all just a

bit wrecked,” she laughed.

CEO of Good2Talk Pat

Gavin told Topic he was

delighted with the success

of the fundraiser. “It went

very well. It was our first

year and hopefully, there

will be many years to come.

It was a very successful


Tour of the Lakelands a huge success

When Ambassador Rooney visited Mullingar

TRIBUTES have been

paid to the late Mr

Daniel Rooney, the former

high-profile U.S.

Ambassador to Ireland,

who died last Thursday,

aged 84.

On 18 August, 2011 Mr

Rooney and his wife Mrs.

Patricia Rooney visited

Mullingar. This was

Ambassador Rooney’s last

county to visit in the

Republic of Ireland during

his tenure as Ambassador.

Mr Rooney was appointed

to the role of Ambassador

by President Barack

Obama in 2009 and served

until he resigned from the

post in 2012. On his visit to

Westmeath, the former

owner and chairman of the

Pittsburgh Steelers NFL

team, said that he “was saving

the best until last.”

On his arrival in

Mullingar, Ambassador

and Mrs. Rooney were

greeted by Leas-Cathaoirleach

Cllr. Ger Corcoran

and Deputy County Manager

Ray Kenny where they

were given a quick briefing

about the county. Later that

morning, the Ambassador

hosted an Open Forum in

the Mullingar Arts Centre.

Martina Hanley, Sarah Duffy, Martin Duffy and Teresa McGlynn and Mary Farrell enjoying the after

event refreshments.

On his visit to Mullingar in August 2011, Cllr. Detty Cornally made a

presentation to U.S. Ambassador Daniel Rooney. Also pictured was Mr

Rooney’s wife, Patricia.

The Ambassador, was

joined on the discussion

panel by Sr. Therese and

Pat Whelan, and was positive

and optimistic about

Volunteering their time were Pat Gavin (CEO of Good2Talk), Leonard

Thompson, Natalie Buckley, Aideen Ginnell, Eimear Murtagh and Leslie


Ireland’s, and indeed,

Mullingar’s future, adding

that he believed that ‘your

attitude here is excellent’

and that ‘we always have to

have hope.’

When asked how Westmeath

as a county united

could survive the recession

and increase tourism, Mr

Rooney was quick to


Westmeath needs to

have a plan,” he stressed at

the time. “You have a great

story to tell and you can

accomplish a lot here,” he

added, before commenting

that he would put the interests

of Westmeath forward



General Space and

Personal Feng Shui

Cost €195





day, great buzz about and

we thoroughly enjoyed it.

We’re here since 6.30am

this morning and we’re all

tired now but happy that it

went so well.”

Deputy Robert Troy said

that he was thrilled with

the number of cyclists who

took part and that he hoped

the cycle was the first of

many. “We hope it will be

annual event and create

awareness of positive mental

health and the fabulous

service that is Good2Talk

here in Mullingar and in

Longford. It’s also to raise

much needed funds be -

cause unfortunately these

services are not fully

funded by the State and

they do have to fundraise

so we are really hoping that

today will help them for the

year ahead.

“We want to thank our

amazing sponsors including

Larkin Tynan Nohilly

Solicitors and Legal Services

Mullingar, Enterprise

Car Rental, DHL,

Tara Wholesale Bottlers,

CBS, Value Centre Cash &

Carry, Wineport Lodge.

The support has been

amazing and the number of

people who participated

was great. We really look

forward to have an even

bigger event next year!”

at a congress that he was

going to in October. He also

mentioned that he thought

that the local GAA players

should be put to better use

and become ambassadors

for the county.

Mr Rooney died in Pittsburgh,

Pennsylvania last

Thursday, 13 April. His

funereal took place on

Tuesday of this week at St.

Paul’s Cathedral, Pittsburgh.


23rd April

and Sunday

30th April

from 10am to 4.30

both days

at the Park Hotel, Mullingar


Colette 087 649 0530


Kilbeggan Races aiming to build

on ambitious future programme



The onset of Easter

and early summer can

only mean that

another season of Kilbeggan

racing is

about to unfold. And

not surprising preparations

were in full

swing when Topic

paid a visit to Loughnagore

last week to

meet manager Paddy

Dunican and his team

getting everything in

‘ship shape’ for this

Friday evening’s first

evening meeting.

In the aftermath of last

Monday’s Fairyhouse

Grand National meeting

and with the Punchestown

Festival also on the horizon,

this time of year is

undoubtedly the busiest for

National Hunt racing in

Ireland. And that is why

the first of Kilbeggan’s

eight meetings is sure to

attract a huge attendance

this Friday evening beginning

at 5.00pm. And just

like a visit the town’s local

distillery an evening at the

Kilbeggan Races is also a

unique experience, not to

mention one of the most

popular local events of the


And first impressions

even before the crowds

descend there this Friday

evening are extremely

impressive. With average

attendances expected to

exceed 7,000 this year much

of the course’s growth and

popularity has been attributed

to the €5m investment

in Kilbeggan over the past

fifteen years, including just

over €2m in the last three


The success of the course

managed by a local committee

of thirty volunteers

chaired by Paul Daly and

supported by long-serving

treasurer Tom Lynam is

also the result of an effective

marketing programme

in recent years targeting

social groups as well as the

lucrative corporate business

market. Sponsorship

from the local business

community and media

rights revenue have also

helped swell the coffers of

the Kilbeggan course but it

is the steady growth in

attendances that has been

most encouraging according

to manager Paddy

Dunican. “Last year was

an outstanding year for us.

We have pursued a very

vigorous marketing campaign

to grow our business

and we have experienced a

significant number of new

people coming to Kilbeggan

for the first time. Our

biggest growth in attendance

is coming from

group bookings from local

social clubs, and businesses

bringing their customers

for a day out,” said

Paddy who also added: “We

are looking forward to a

great new season of racing

with eight race meetings

planned from now until l

Administration team: Pictured at the entrance to the main building are

manager Paddy Dunican, treasurer Tom Lynam, Anne Marie Guinan and Kim


next September”. Further

development works on the

track have been carried out

which creates a much better

racing surface for the

horses and jockeys and

thus attracts to Kilbeggan,

men of the best exponents

in the sport of kings.



A visit to the Kilbeggan

Races is a truly vibrant

social occasion as much as

an exciting sporting event

as an altogether most

enjoyable experience. Contrast

the heart-stopping

spectacle of racing over

jumps with that of the laidback

charm of a genuine

rural meeting and that is

the kind of combination

that is very rare nowadays.

The Kilbeggan formula is

therefore made for fun,

friendship and atmosphere

for the thousands who

return through the Kilbeggan

turnstiles meeting

after meeting.

The usually tranquil

square in the local town

centre is always transformed

on race evenings

into a festival of social and

sporting pleasure by literally

attracting race-goers

from every corner of Ireland

before heading for


“You can meet friends,

mingle; you can eat, drink

and cheer without restriction;

you can bring the family

or whoever; where for a

few euros the odds are

much better than a lottery

ticket; and where you can

boast afterwards that it

was sheer skill that made

you pick the winner!” said

Paddy who added: “If you

are bright, witty and rich

you will enjoy Kilbeggan

Races and if not, you will

enjoy it just the same.”


The facilities at Kilbeggan

include a panoramic,

glass-fronted Balcony Suite

- superbly located opposite

the winning post, adjacent

to the bookmakers’ ring

with an expansive view

overlooking the entire racetrack

and colourful spectator

area. A self-service

restaurant and snack-bar is

also a popular haunt for

race-goers and punters.

The tented bar on the hill

overlooks the entire racecourse,

and is a hub for the

event’s live music at every

race meeting. All of

course’s bars are also popular

meeting places with visitors

and locals alike, and

are the ideal place for postrace

analysis as well as a

nice relaxing pint before






Kilbeggan is one of Ireland's

only racecourses

where races over

jumps are under National

Hunt rules. Racing at Kilbeggan

therefore usually

makes for an entertaining,

thrilling and heart-stopping

spectacle where you

are close enough to see the

skill, excellence and bravery

of man and animal.

And the Kilbeggan course

has never looked in better

shape located in a picturesque

and natural setting

for racing - both easy

on the eye and perfect for

viewing. The viewing area

on the Hill is adjacent to

the first jump - giving racegoers

an impressive view

over the entire racecourse

and its surroundings.

Here, groups can relax,

but yet remain immersed

in the thrilling racing

action and close to all the

festivities. Located adjacent

to the new M6

motoway – Kilbeggan is

now only one hour from

Dublin and from Galway.

And the advent of the

motorway has also meant

that the course car-parks

can be cleared just over

half an hour after the last

race according to Tom

Lynam who is the longest

serving member (since

1956) of the current Kilbeggan

course management


But much of the post race

traffic also heads for the

larger towns of Athlone,

Mullingar, Tullamore,

Trim, Kilcock, Longford,

Portlaoise, Birr, Edenderry

and Ballinasloe rather

remaining in Kilbeggan





All but one of this year’s

racing programme are

evening meetings including

the highlight of the Kilbeggan

racing calendar –

The Midlands National on

Friday - 21 July 2017.

Described in many quarters

as the social event of

the year in the Midlands,

this race is one of the most

exciting chases of the Summer

Racing calendar. The

race has become the largest

Summer Race Meeting outside

of the Irish Derby and

the Galway Plate and consistently

provides fun,

friendship and an electric

atmosphere. A full evening

of entertainment for all the

family including live

music, children’s entertainment

as well as the

glamour and style of the

Best Dressed Lady.

The only meeting not

held on an evening in this

season of racing in Kilbeggan

will be the very popular

Family Day on Sunday 4

June. The first race of the

Summer Sunday Festival is

at 2.45 pm.

The Summer Party Pack

@ Just €22 Per Person is

available for all eight meetings

which includes:

Admission Ticket + €5

Food Voucher + €5 Drink

Voucher + Race Card . For

groups of 10 +, Discounted

Tickets Pre-Sale Only.



The highlight of the first

meeting of the year is the

Irish Stallion Farms European

Breeders Fund Mares

Chase sponsored by the

European Breeders Fund.

The European Breeder’s

Fund has contributed €40

million since 1983 and €2

Friday evening’s Racing Card

million in 2017. The Irish

European Breeder’s Fund

has contributed significant

sponsorship to Irish Racing

and is working closely

with the racecourses to

spread the message of their

activities for the greater

good of Irish National

Hunt Racing.

The first meeting of the

year has a unique history

in that it brings out people

from the winter wilderness

to a specialist jumping

racecourse creating the

opportunity to meet up

with friends, family, neighbours,

racing buddies, visitors,

and perhaps a few

strangers, who might

become friends.

Admission is Adults €15,

Students & OAP’s €12, plus

discount for groups and

children under 16 free.

There is also a Special Discount

Summer Party Pack

for €22- you get admission,

a Free Race Card ,€5 Drink

Voucher, and €5 Food


Ticket can now be purchased

at over 250 Centra

and SuperValu outlets


Contact the Kilbeggan

Office at 057 9332176 or

email at racing@kilbegganraces.com

5.00 The Follow Kilbeggan on Facebook Maiden Hurdle of €11,000

5.35 The Follow Kilbeggan on Twitter Maiden Hurdle of €11,000

6.05 The Summer Party Pack Handicap Hurdle of €12,000

6.35 The Mullingar Handicap Hurdle of €11,000

7.05 The Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Mares

Beginners Steeplechase of €15,000

7.35 The Sean Hughes memorial Handicap Steeplechase of €16,000

8.05 The Loughnagore Flat Race of €10,000

Regulation fence: Father and son Austin and Jason Colton are pictured with

Tom Lynam and manager Paddy Dunican preparing one of the fences ahead

of the start of the Kilbeggan Races next Friday evening.

Kilbeggan Grandstand.

Racecourse manager Paddy Dunican.

Remaining 2017 Kilbeggan Race Meetings

Friday, 12th May, First Race at approximately 5.20 pm

Friday Evening Racing

Sunday, 4th June, First Race at approximately 2.45 pm

Summer Sunday Festival

Monday, 26th June, First Race at approximately 6.00 pm

Mid Summer Race Evening

Friday, 21st July, First Race at approximately 6.00 pm

Midlands National & Best Dressed Lady Competition

Saturday, 12th August, First Race at approximately 5.30 pm

Summer Saturday & Best Dressed Lady Competition

Friday, 25th August, First Race at approximately 5.00 pm

Friday Evening Racing

Friday, 8th September, 1st. Race at approximately 4.30 pm

Friday Evening Racing

TOPIC • 20 April, 2017

Packy would have to say

that the most uplifting

event for Mullingar town in

recent years was the official

opening on Easter

Monday, of the new 1916

Memorial Park beside the

Green Bridge.... and fair

play to Cllr.Bill Collentine,

Tomás Nally, Jason McKevitt,

Eamon McGowan,

Ger O’Connor. Anita

Kennedy and William Collentine,

and all the other

Tidy Towns committee people

involved, and all those

who helped and assisted

them in any way... nice to

see the Army and retired

Army units fully represented,

as well as Civil

Defence and Mullingar

Town Band in full splendour,

as well as some of the

elected members of Westmeath

Co. Council and Dáil

Éireann.... the new Monument

is a credit to the

builder .... and the finished

product is a worthy tribute

to the brave people of 1916

....Mullingar has a new

street monument well

worth showing to any visitors,

along with The

Monks, Joe Dolan’s statue

and the Great Famine

Memorial.... historian

Ruth Illingworth will

have to add to her town

walks itinerary from now

on....this Friday, all horse

racing followers will be

hoping for plenty of sunshine

in Kilbeggan for the

first Races meeting of

with Br. Frank & Br. Fergus

I see the buses are

back on the road...

2017.... the first race is at

5pm, and the race card

looks good, with the

biggest prize-fund of

€22,600 for the ITBA Irish

Stallion Farms European

Breeders Fund Steeplechase

over 2 miles and 3

furlongs, and the top individual

prize for a winner of

€16,000 in the Sean Hughes

Memorial Handicap

Steeplechase... the total

prize money on the night is

almost €120,000...so once

again. well done to Kilbeggan

Races and Paddy Dunican

and Co. for their

work... in horseracing

terms, Kilbeggan is Westmeath’s


...have you been to see the

Mullingar Student Players

in the Arts Centre

yet?...their latest offering,

the musical “Hairspray”

opened on Monday and

continues until Saturday

next, so don’t miss this

great show.... the sunshine

on Easter Monday brought

people out for a stroll...

spotted Margaret Murray’s

new dog taking her

for a fast walk on Monday

evening, heading for

home...you’re feeding the

young lady too well, Margaret....the

swallows are

staying around town, so

summer must be on the


some birthday greetings

now... and a belated greeting

for Caoimhe Dermody,

Mayne, Coole, who

I hope we’ll all

be getting our



had a birthday last week...

and also for Ava Louise

Cribbin from The Downs,

Mullingar ..... on this

Thursday, 20 April, birthday

greetings to Jordan

Byrne, Raithin, Mullingar...all

the family send

their best wishes..... and

greetings on the same day

to Emma Duncan, Violetstown,

Mullingar....and also

on 20 April, a birthday

greeting goes to Alan Farrell,

Tyrrellspass, who will

be twelve-years-old, with

best wishes from his parents,

brothers Shane and

Gary and all the family...

On Friday, 21 April,

Corey Hanley will celebrate

his tenth birthday,

and best wishes to him

from his mum and all the


On Sunday next, 23 April,

Teresa Groome from Ballinabrackey

will have a

birthday, and on Monday

next, 24 April, young Killucan

woman, Ciara Keegan

is sent special

greetings... and also on 24

April, Daisy Carey from

Tyrrellspass (of Celtic

Blonde fame) has her birthday,

and her sister Rose and

all the family wish her the

very best...

.... a special birthday wish

for Roisín Lyons from

Scurlockstown, Slanemore,

Mullingar, who celebrates

her birthday on next Tuesday,

25 April, and best

wishes from her parents,

brother, sister and all the

family... also on 25 April,

greetings also to a young

lady, Lea Nugent, who is

wished all the best by her

parents, grandparents and

by all the family.... and

greetings to Claire Bardon-Maher

who will have

a birthday to celebrate the

same day.....and a belated

congrats to Mark Christie

of Mullingar Harriers on

winning the Great Britain

Run and National 10K

title...and likewise to

Damien Shaw on his great

cycling performance in

France in recent days...winning

a stage beating the former

winner, holding the

yellow jersey for several

days, and finishing in the

top six....greetings to Fiona

Maher, Mullingar who celebrated

her birthday on 13

April and enjoyed plenty of

fun with family members

and work colleagues at

Tesco, Mullingar...Next

week, on Wednesday, 26

April, Dr. Richard

Collins, and expert on the

subject, will give an illustrated

lecture on the

strange fact about bird

life...including mute swans,

and many native Irish

birds.. so all the local Birdwatchers

will surely be

going to the Barn in

Tyrrellspass at 8pm on

Wednesday......the following

Sunday, 30 April, the

Eucharistic Adoration

pilgrimage to Knock takes

place, with a bus from

Mullingar that morning...

former Mullingar priest

Bishop Denis Nulty will

celebrate the Mass... contact

Úna at 087-645 0046 if

you want to travel on the

bus...Many thanks to everyone

who supported the

Card Drive in Ballynacargy

Parochial Hall last Friday

night in aid of the Irish

Cancer Society and the

Irish Kidney Association....

…it was great to see so

many local faces on television

last Sunday as Killaro

Boy won the novices chase

at Fairyhouse...spotted

Tom McHugh, Johnnie

and Willie Penrose, Paul

Murtagh, Kieran and

Alice Kerrigan, Tommy

Maguire, Deirdre, Niamh

and Irene Penrose, Brendan

Glynn, Gerry Keon

and Anthony Maher all


The Children's Department

has this week

announced a €1.17m fund

for small local youth

clubs. It is a 10% increase

on last year and its aimed

at small volunteer led

organisations.Up to 1,600

groups with over 90,000

members will be open to

apply through their local

Education and Training



A lotto ticket holder is

€250,000 richer this week.

It's after one ticket took

Saturday night's Lotto

Plus 2 draw. The numbers

are 5, 7, 32, 36, 40, 41 and

the bonus is 20. The ticket

was sold in the midlands.


It will be 101 years ago

on Monday next, 24 April,

that the 1916 Rising

started, on what was

Easter Monday that year.

The Rising took place

over six days and ended

on Easter Saturday, 29

April, 1916.


On Friday of his week,

21 April, Queen Elizabeth

II, the longest reigning

British monarch, turns




Success for St Finian’s College at

Dublin’s Feis Ceoil competitions


are sent this week to all

Feis Ceoil participants

from St Finian’s College,

Mullingar, and especially

to all the current pupils

and past pupils who were

successful in winning

Dublin Feis Ceoil cups in

several disciplines.

St Finian’s and schools

nationally know The

Schola Cantorum have a

long history of successes

with Feis Ceoil entrants.

Set up more than thirty

years ago, in 1896,

Dublin’s Feis Ceoil promotes

excellence in the

learning and performance

of music across all ages,

levels and disciplines.

The annual Feis Ceoil

now comprises of almost

200 competitions, attracting

over 5,000 participants

from all over the island of

Ireland. It is an essential

element in the musical

infrastructure of the country

and has made an

immeasurable contribution

to the study and cultivation

of music at all

levels in Ireland.

Some of the St Finian’s


On Thursday, 30 March, The Sacrament of Confirmation was administered

by Bishop Michael Smith to the pupils of Ballynacargy N.S. and Sonna N.S.

at The Church of the Nativity, Ballynacargy.

Sonna N.S. pupil Shane Ledwith is pictured on the day with family members

Jack, Jenny and Michael Ledwith.

Alan Fagan, pictured with his teacher Mr Gerard


College winners this year


Shane Quinn, winner of

the u15 Piano Solo competition

and Very Highly

Commended in the u15

Solo Violin.

Shane McLoughlin, winner

of The Stanford Cup

and The Catherine

McAuley award for achieving

the highest mark in all

senior organ solo competitions.

Alan Fagan, winner of

the Senior organ competition

and consequently

selected to perform as a

soloist in the Annual Feis

Ceoil Gala Concert held in

Dublin’s National Concert

Hall on 26 April where the

President of Ireland,

Michael D. Higgins will be

in attendance.

Clíodhna Regan, winner

enjoying the moment and

why wouldn’t they after

such a great success...the

late Johnny Kerrigan and

his good pal, Cecil Ross

must have been looking

down smiling at the great

scenes in the winners

enclosure…I’m told they all

had the winner

backed!...here’s to more

great days and you’d never

know, Cheltenham could be

on the cards!....remember,

of the u15 Irish Solo song

competition, and runnerup

in the u18 Junior Organ



Among the St. Finian’s

college past pupils were:

Sarah Brady (soprano),

winner of the Lieder

Prize, Nancy Calthorpe

Cup, Dermot Troy Trophy,

Gervase Elwes Memorial

Cup and Mollie Murray

€1,000 award. Sarah has

also been selected to perform

at the Annual Feis

Ceoil Gala Concert which

will be held in Dublin’s

National Concert Hall on

26 April and has been

shortlisted for the RDS

Music Bursary, which is

worth €15,000.

Past pupil Peter Regan

(piano), who is currently

studying with Dr John

O’Conor, and was winner

of The Senior Piano competition,

and the Hamilton

Harty Cup.

Past pupil Kate Tulgara

(soprano), the winner of

the PJ Geoghegan Memorial


Packy told you first....

... from your friend,

Packy Mac

The Week

In Numbers


Elected to the office of

President of Ireland in

November, 2011, Michael

D. Higgins, politician,

poet, scholar, sociologist,

author and Ireland’s 9th

President turned 76 on

Tuesday of this week, 18



The first meeting of the

2017 Kilbeggan Races gets

under way on Friday of

this week, 21 April, with

the first race on Friday

going under the starter’s

orders at 5pm.


Founded in 1856, the

same year as the CBS,

Mullingar Hevey Institute

was built, the

Mullingar Town Commissioners

and Mullingar

Town Council represented

158 years of

democracy, elections and

free speech in Mullingar

and Westmeath. Together

with all Town Councils, it

was abolished in 2014 and

had its last formal

monthly meeting three

year ago on Saturday of

this week, 22 April, and

its last meeting three

weeks later, on 13 May.


TOPIC • 20 April, 2017

Moving Ceremony Captures Spirit

of 1916 Park Monument unveiling




Mullingar’s Green

Bridge came to a

standstill at noon on

Easter Monday of this

week, as Mullingar

people came out to celebrate

the official

opening of the town’s

new 1916 Centenary

Garden, put in place

by the Mullingar Tidy

Towns sub-committee

as part of the State’s

‘Decade of Centenaries’


The Irish Defence Forces,

including current and

retired members were

prominent during the ceremony,

including IUNVA

and ONE members as well

as other retired Army personnel.

Westmeath Civil

Defence was also represented,

and the Tidy Towns

committee members who

had planned and carried

out the project were among

the main speakers.The official

blessing of the new

monument was performed

by the Mullingar Administrator,

Fr. Padraig McMahon

and Rev. Alastair

Graham, Church of Ireland


Attendees came from far

and wide to the ceremony,

honouring the local men

and women who were

involved in the Independence

movement in 1916

and were active during the

Easter Rising period and

the years afterwards,

Seven newly planted

saplings circling the monument

represent the seven

signatories of the Proclamation

of Independence.

The attractive Memorial

Garden/Park is the work

of a 1916 Sub-Committee

formed in 2016, to look at

ways in which the

Mullingar people who

played their part in the Rising

and its aftermath,

could best be remembered

in the Mullingar of 2017.

Mullingar Tidy Towns

committee member

Eamonn McGowan acted as

MC for the opening which

saw several of his colleagues

deliver moving

speeches beside the beautiful

stone memorial.

Addressing the crowd, Mr

McGowan thanked the subcommittee

for their hard

work in creating such a

unique and elegantly built

tribute to the people of

1916. “It was up to the subcommittee

to design and

complete this historical

area of contemplation and

reflection. This finely

crafted monument is surrounded

by seven trees,

each tree represents one of

the seven signatures of the

Irish Proclamation. It

encompasses a time capsule

for the future residents

of Mullingar. I’d like

to thank my fellow committee

members for their dedication

and enthusiasm in

the completion of this project.

Also Teresa Collentine

for looking after all of us

and a sincere thanks to the

Town Band for their music

and Army personnel, especially

Piper Niall Kenny.”

It was then the turn of

Mullingar Major Cllr. John

Shaw , and he welcomed

everyone “on a very special

day in Mullingar for

the unveiling of this 1916


He paid special tribute to

Mullingar Tidy Towns and

the sub-committee up who

made the day possible. I

want to acknowledge

Eamonn McGowan, Jason

McKevitt, Ger O’ Connor,

Tomás Nally, Anita

Kennedy, William Collentine

and of course Bill Collentine.

We remember the

volunteers today who

fought and died for Irish

freedom. The word volunteer

has always been synonymous

with Irish culture

and Irish society. The people

who are involved in this

committee have freely

given up their time over the

past number of months to

make this a reality.,” he

said, asking Bill Collentine

to cut the tape and open the




Mr. Collentine, in a moving

heartfelt speech which

captured the hearts of the

attendance intently to the

heart felt words. “Today is

the highpoint for us, as a

result of many months of

work, to recognise those

who’ve gone before us and

their contribution to both

our republic and our community.

We stand here

today in thanks and solidarity

and remember the

sacrifices that they made

on our behalf. As a community,

it is only proper that

these sacrifices are given

permanent recognition so

that our descendents may

also learn from and respect

our forefathers.

Mullingar Tidy Towns

has long been seen as a

well-respected and hard

working organisation. We

feel that we have delivered

a quality memorial for the

community and it will also

make a significant historical

tourist attraction to our


Praising the hard work of

his fellow committee members,

Mr. Collentine also

thanked all those who had

made the day such a moving

event. “The monument

was built by local tradesman.

There are simply too

many people to thank for

making the day as big a

success as it is. We want to

thank the hard-working

people of Mullingar town

for their support as well as

Westmeath County Council

who supported us through

the Department of Arts,

Heritage and the Gaeltacht,

Waterways Ireland, Westmeath

Topic, Westmeath

Examiner, the Defence

Forces, An Garda

Síochana, Civil Defence,

local businesses, Mullingar

Jason McKevitt reading The Proclamation during Monday’s opening ceremony at the Green Bridge.

Chamber, Mullingar Town

Band and Mullingar

Gaelscoil Choir and the

many other groups and

sponsors and of course,

our local schools who

added so much to our time

capsule and indeed, the

event here today.

“I would also like to

thank the Tús workers who

carried out tremendous

work for Mullingar Tidy

Towns over the last number

of years, making

Mullingar a better place.

We must also mention a

special member who is

here today in spirit- the late

John O’ Neill, our recently

Army personnel render honours,

as Lieut. Robert Duggan raises

the Tricolour during the official

opening of the Green Bridge

1916 Memorial Garden.

deceased Secretary who

had such a passion for

Mullingar Tidy Town and

indeed, the community of

Mullingar. We know that

John would be proud of

our work and we are very

proud to have his family

here today to represent

him. May he rest in peace.

Finally I would like to

thank you, the people of

Mullingar. This is a vibrant

and bustling town with

many hard-working and

proud people within it. We

hope this monument, your

monument, will be a place

that you can visit and be

proud of.”



The committee Secretary

Tomás Nally also took to

the stand to speak about

the meaning behind the

time capsule. “Today we

look back on over 100 years

of freedom. Our forefathers

never could have

envisioned the progress

and changes that we would

take in that period and I am

sure they would be

awestruck. To mark this,

our sub-committee wanted

to include a time capsule

within this historic monument.

To say we were at

the response to this project

is an understatement . I

would like to thank all

those who took time to add

to this unique undertaking

including voluntary

groups, businesses and

local schools and many

more.We have included

medals, coins, photographs

and heart warming stories

of the people of Mullingarreserving

a snippet of time

that can be looked at in

another 100 years.”

Following an eloquently

delivered history on the

events of the 1916 Rising in

Mullingar by Jason McKevitt,

the proclamation was

unveiled by Ger O’ Connor

and Anita Kennedy after

which the memorial

received a blessing by Fr.

Padraig McMahon and Rev.

Alastair Graham.

After a minute’s silence

dedicated to those who lost

their lives during the Rising,

a touching Piper’s

Lament by Private Niall

Kelly followed by the

impressive raising of the

Tricolour by Lieut. Robert

Duggan, as the Army unit

from Custume Barracks in

Athlone rendered honours.

It brought a tear to some

eyes, as Mullingar’s great

Army tradition once again

returned briefly to the

town, to haunt the memories

of old soldiers and

comrades in arms who had

soldiered together on foreign

fields, some in the now

famous Siege of Jadotville.

Mullingar Civil Defence

was represented by Brian

Gillen and other members,

with local public representatives,

including Town

Mayor, Cllr. John Shaw,

Robert Troy TD, Cllr. Ken

Glynn and former Oireachtas

member Donie Cassidy

also present.



Concluded Cllr. Bill Collentine,

on behalf of the

Tidy Towns committee:

“The national flag will be

flown above the monument

to represent the integrity

and the aspirations of the

Irish men and women

involved, and I invite you

to come and use and

respect this area to reflect

and teach your children

and your grandchildren

about the Rising and how

our nation was born. Today

we mark a point in history

and we are proud to do so.

On behalf of Mullingar

Tidy Towns, I thank you for

your support and hope that

in 100 years time, a group

like us will also be here to

celebrate freedom at this

monument.” Mr Collentine

ended, to widespread


The new stone memorial

was built with panache

and skill by local craftsman

Philip Smyth (assisted by

John Corrigan) and was

tastefully completed by the

seven saplings and standard

carrying the National

Flag, as well as the stone

seat and the stone plaque

publicly displaying the 1916

Proclamation, placed above

the time capsules in the


TOPIC • 20 April, 2017

Buachloch Nua Curtha le Stór Seod Clainne na mBreatnach

Yet Another Precious Addition

To Walsh Family Jewels

In this good old town of

Mullingar and for many a good

Irish mile around it, there can

scarcely be a living soul that is

unaware that on 14 March,

2017, one of our best known

businesses, Walsh Jewellers of 14

Oliver Plunkett St., celebrated its

100th birthday − a feat exceedingly

rare indeed for a family

firm. The present proprietors,

Geraldine and Des, having come

through submersion by a veritable

tsunami of congratulations,

tributes and good wishes − all

thoroughly merited − from

friends, neighbours, customers

and fellow members of the business

community, found themselves

this Easter weekend,

unexpectedly but no less deservingly,

in receipt of further

acclaim and distinction.

Glór an Mhuilinn, the

Mullingar craobh of Conradh na

Gaeilge, presented them with

the trophy awarded annually to

that local business person or

establishment that over the preceding

year has made the most

striking and impressive use of

the national language. Their

unwavering support for Irish

and the status they accord it are

clearly demonstrated in the centenary

“fógra” on their window



One of the most important

archaeological finds in Westmeath

in decades was made in

October of 1996 when workmen

building a new supermarket at

Barrack Street, Mullingar, uncovered

the skeletons of 35 Augustinian

Friars, whose priory had

been located in the area

between the 13th and 16th centuries.

Four of the friars were wearing

scallop shells, indicating that

they had made the pilgrimage

to Santiago de Compostello in

Spain. The archaeological team

who carried out the examination

of the site, led by Michael

Gibbons, were very excited by

the discovery.


A report by the Comptroller

and Auditor General into the

workings of Westmeath VEC in

the early nineties was issued.

The report was highly critical

of the VEC, which had run up a

significant deficit. They were

criticised for spending money

acquiring properties in Westmeath

and in France without

Departmental permission; for

overspending on salaries for

some staff and for expenses

claims put in by an extraordinarily

large delegation of 26 at a

conference at which all other

counties had sent a maximum of

four delegates. There were calls

for the VEC board to resign but

the new CEO stated that the situation

was now being rectified

and the deficit eliminated.


and in the use of the language

in their Irish window promotions

each year.

Love of their town and of its

people and history, so potent a

determining force in all their

activities, business and public,

and indeed written works, is a

love that obviously extends to

embrace all the characteristic

and defining features of their

nation and its life, past and present.

Some other salient and

extremely interesting aspects of

the Walsh family business and

history deserve a mention here

also, however fleeting. Their

connections with so many other

prominent Mullingar families,

such as the Mulreadys, the

Moynihans and the Feelys, drew

the suggestion from some wag

that they could and should elect

their own TD!

Remarkable too is the example

of woman power which the firm

affords over the generations.

Des’s father, Brendan, was manager

of a local business, and also

chairman of the Leinster Council

of the GAA, the firm being then

run by Des’s mother. Des himself

continues to work to this day as

an accountant with Gibson and

Fletcher, while Geraldine looks

after the family jewels! − And


Mullingar was growing and

spreading westwards as planning

permission was given for

165 new houses in the

Sarsanstown and Farranfolliet

townlands (now Ardleigh/Ardilaun).

Plans for a ring road to

connect the Ballymahon, Ballynacargy

and Castlepollard Roads

were also announced.


A referendum was held in

November on tightening the law

concerning the granting of bail.

Despite widespread concern at

crime, the turnout was only 28%

in Westmeath. The referendum

was carried, with around 78% of

local voters voting in favour.


There was a Census in April and

the preliminary results showed a

2.2% increase in the Westmeath

population since 1991 - with the

population now standing at

63,236. The combined Mullingar

urban and rural electoral districts

and adjoining districts now

had a population of 31,534,

while the Athlone urban and

rural districts (excluding the

Roscommon hinterland), stood

at 22,549. Kinnegad's population

had risen to 633 and the

Ballymore and Coole districts

now stood at 1,935 and 1,653

people respectively.


In sport, the county Senior

Hurling Championship was won

by Lough Lene Gaels and the

Football Title was claimed by

Coralstown/Kinnegad. Rochfortbridge

were once more the

Our picture shows Geraldine and Des Walsh receiving their trophy from the

Cathaoirleach of Glór an Mhuilinn, Seán Mac Aodh, to mark their efforts

during Seachtain na Gaeilge in Mullingar. Also included are Glór members

Muiris Sionóid and Tomás Ó Ciarnáin.

this extraordinary tradition is rounding countryside to service through which the town and its


and reset the grandfather people have passed over several

Their thriving business has clocks; to the present uninhabited

generations. It has survived

been at the heart of Mullingar

life for over a century now −

from the days of the living Oliver

Plunkett Street full of families;

and of the jeweller’s resident

watchmaker who twice annually,

thoroughfare where not a

loaf of bread may be bought,

teeming with pedestrian shoppers

and automobiles by day

and virtually deserted by night.

Walsh’s has been a register and a

because it deserves to survive.

May it do so for many generations

to come!

Gura fada buan iad Deasún,

Gearóidín agus a gclann. Guímid

rath agus séan trí mhórán glúnta

in his pony and trap, visited barometer of all the changes romhainn ar a ngnó geal

all the fine houses of the sur-

and configurations and states galánta!

Ladies Football champions and

St Munna's took the senior

Camogie honours. Rochfortbridge

were finalists in the Leinster

Ladies Football Club


Alo Kelly from Miltownpass

won Gold at the International

Novi Sad Boxing Championships

in Serbia. Cormac Finnerty from

Mullingar was a member of

Team Ireland at the Olympic

Games in Atlanta and just

missed out on a place in the

5000 metres final. Rose McCormack

from Kilbeggan won the

Ladies' National Matchplay

Championship in Pitch & Putt

and Sharon Reilly from

Mullingar won a Silver Medal in

the Cross Country Race at the

European Transplant Games in



In the arts and culture field,

the year saw the first performance

in Mullingar of Verdi's

Requiem, which was performed

in the cathedral by the

Mullingar Choral Society. Westmeath

actress Tina Kellegher

starred in a popular new BBC TV

series called ‘Ballykissangel’...

The Eurovision Song Contest was

won by Ireland. The winning

entry ‘The Voice’ was written by

Brendan Graham from

Mullingar, who had also written

Ireland's 1994 winning Eurovision

entry ‘Rock'n Roll Kids’.


The former Roman Catholic

Bishop of Meath, Dr John

McCormack, died in September

of 1996 and one of Westmeath's

most colourful politicians, Gerry

L'Estrange died in the same year.


The Lord Mayor of Liverpool,

Cllr Frank Doran, visited

Mullingar in November, at the

invitation of Mullingar Commission

Chairman, Frank McIntyre.

Mullingar born author,

Josephine Hart became Lady

Saatchi when her husband, Maurice

Saatchi, was awarded a Life

Peerage by the British Premier,

John Major.

In April, Brian Fagan from

Mullingar became the first person

from Ireland to parachute

onto the North Pole.


A General Election took place

in June, which led to Fianna Fáil

returning to government. In

Westmeath, the election was

most notable for the extraordinary

success of Willie Penrose,

who topped the poll, bucking

the national trend which saw

Labour decimated. Paul

McGrath and Mary O’Rourke

were also re-elected. A few

months later, the voters of Westmeath

went to the polls again to

elect the eighth President of Ireland.

Mary McAleese, the Fianna Fáil

candidate, was the poll topper

in Westmeath. On a turnout of

48%, she secured 10,653 first

preference votes, with Fine

Gael's Mary Benotti taking just

under 6,000 first preferences

and the Independent candidate,

Dana, receiving 3,770 number

1s. In the Seanad elections,

Donie Cassidy topped the polls

and Camillus Glynn was elected

for the first time.


The ‘Information Age’ was

beginning to make an impact on

Westmeath by 1997. Mullingar

Chamber of Commerce organised

information meetings

where people could discover

how to use the internet and

email. Many teenage boys were

thrilled to have the chance to

view the website of the Spice

Girls and to send the band

emails declaring their devotion!


The era of the ‘Celtic Tiger’ was

now under way and Mullingar

was declared to be "booming",

with unemployment falling and

house prices soaring. The Harbour

Shopping Centre opened,

as did Buckley's SuperValu store.



There was great shock in Westmeath

when Delvin born Franciscan

Brother, Larry Timmons

was shot dead at his mission station

in Lare, Kenya, where he

had worked for many years. The

police claimed that he had been

killed by crossfire during a gun

battle between police and robbers.

But his colleagues and

parishioners believed that

Brother Timmons had been murdered

by the police because he

had challenged corruption

among the police and local

politicians. His funeral was

attended by Westmeath TDs and

representatives of the President

and Taoiseach. County Councillors

urged the Government to

put pressure on the Kenyan

authorities to get to the truth

about the killing.


In sport, St Joseph's School,

Rochfortbridge, reached the

finals of the All Ireland Basketball

Championships. The Senior

County Camogie Championship

was won by St Munna's for the

tenth consecutive time, while

Rochfortbridge made it ten victories

in a row in the Ladies

Football Championship. The

Hurling Senior Title was won by

Castlepollard and Moate were

Football champions. Christy

Joyce and Ray Charles from

Mullingar won the All Ireland

60x30 Junior Handball Championship.

Orla Clarke from Loughnavalley,

a member of Mullingar

Harriers, became All Ireland

High Jump Champion.


The world of culture and the

arts in 1997 saw Mullingar born

actor, Terry McMahon take on a

role in ‘Fair City’. Loreto College

Senior Choir, Mullingar, won the

National Schools Choir competition.


In other news that year, a

woman with Mullingar connections,

Cllr Margaret Clarke,

became Lord Mayor of Liverpool.

Mullingar native, Monsignor

Ray Field was appointed

Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin. After

extensive renovations, Mullingar

Cathedral re-opened in November

with a special Mass.

At the end of the year, in which

divorce became legal in Ireland,

it was reported that 4.5% of

Westmeath couples were

divorced or separated. Three

divorce petitions were lodged

with the local courts in 1997.






Kennedy & Tony Maloney,

wish to apply to Westmeath

County Council for

permission to demolish

existing outbuildings/ storage

sheds and permission

to construct a new 37.4

sq.m single storey food

pick up point, new 45.1

sq.m store, installation of

new wheelchair accessible

toilet and for permission to

retain the conversion of

existing 18.0 sq.m building

form store area to kitchen

area and all ancillary site

services at Blackhall St,

Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.

The application may be

inspected, or purchased at

a fee not exceeding the

reasonable cost of making

a copy, at the offices of the

Planning Authority,

Mullingar Municipal District

Offices, County Buildings,

Mullingar, during its public

opening hours. A submission

or observation in relation

to the application may

be made in writing to the

planning authority at the

above offices on payment

of the prescribed fee, €20,

within the period of 5

weeks beginning on the

date of receipt by the

authority of the application,

and such submissions or

observations will be considered

by the planning

authority in making a decision

on the application.

The planning authority

may grant permission subject

to or without conditions,

or may refuse to

grant permission.


COUNCIL: Pertshear Ltd,

intend to apply for full planning

permission for development

at Rathgrave

Estate, Water Street,

Townparks, Castlepollard,

Co Westmeath. The development

consists of to (A)

complete 2 no. two storey

3 bed semi-detached

dwellings (House Type 1),

2 no. two storey 3 bed

semi-detached dwellings

(House Type 4) works currently

at sub floor level as

per previous Planning Ref

072186, (B) to construct 2

no. two storey 3 bed semidetached


(House Type 2), (C) construct

3 no. two storey 3

bed terrace type dwellings

(House Type 3), (D) relocate

existing ESB mini

substation (E) connect to

existing on site mains services

(F) complete all

ancillary site works as previously

granted under

Planning Ref No. 072186

with revised site layout and

site boundaries from that

previously granted. The

planning application may

be inspected or purchased,

at a fee not

exceeding the reasonable

cost of making a copy, at

the offices of the Planning

Authority at Mullingar

Municipal District Offices,

County Buildings Mullingar

during its public opening

hours. A submission or

observation in relation to

the application may be

made in writing to the planning

authority at the above

office on payment of the

prescribed fee, €20, within

the period of 5 weeks

beginning on the date of

receipt by the planning

authority of the application

and such submissions or

observations will be considered

by the planning

authority in making a decision

on the application.

The planning authority

may grant permission subject

to or without conditions,

or may refuse to

grant permission. Michael

Hetherton Arch & Eng Services

Ltd, Unit 3, Cavan

Street, Oldcastle, Co

Meath 049 8542911.


COUNCIL: I, Orla McDonnell

wish to apply to Westmeath

County Council for

permission to construct 1

No. storey half dwelling,

garage, mini waste water

treatment system and polishing

filter, alter existing

entrance onto road and all

associated site works at

Rathnure, Tyrellspass,

Co.Westmeath. The planning

application may be

inspected or purchased at

a fee not exceeding the

reasonable cost of making

a copy, at the offices of the

Planning Authority,

Mullingar Municipal District

Office, County Buildings,

Mullingar, during its public

opening hours and that a

submission or observation

in relation to the application

may be made to the

authority in writing on payment

of the prescribed fee

,€20.00, within the period

of 5 weeks beginning on

the date of receipt by the

authority of the application.

Deadline for receipt of

planning is


TOPIC • 044 9348868


TOPIC • 20 April, 2017


Peter Burke T.D.

Best wishes



Tidy Towns

Blackhall Court,



Co. Westmeath.

Tel 044 9385044




Dominick St., Mullingar, Tel 044 9348409

Best wishes to

Mullingar Tidy Towns Committee

- keep up the good work!




Mullingar Tidy Town’s Committee appeal for assistance


Town’s Committee has

long been one of the

hardest working

groups in the town in

recent years, and this

year already, they have

excelled themselves,

having successfully

undertaken a very

ambitious local project,

and are at present

looking for new members

to help make 2017

the tidiest year yet for

the capital town of


Speaking to Topic,

Chairperson Bill Collentine

spoke about

some of the many projects

the group has

undertaken recently

which include the addition

of bat boxes along

the canal, litter picking,

cutting and general

upkeep of the

grass, as well as the

sowing of flowers and

shrubs along the

banks. “We are working

together with

Inland Fisheries Ireland

to organise a fishing

competition to

bring more activity

back to the canal. We

are also working with

Waterways Ireland to

get the most out of our

water areas.” The committee

also hope to create

a natural heritage

trail which will link

areas of historical

interest throughout the


On Easter Monday of

this week 17 April, the

Tidy Town’s 1916 Centenary

Sub Committee

saw their special 2016-

17 project - putting in

place a new and permanent

Mullingar 1916-

2016 Memorial Park,

beside the Green

Bridge and Mullingar

Fair Green, in place.

As readers will know,

the new Memorial

park, unveiled this

week, has greatly

enhanced this area of

the town. Adding to the

historical significance

of the stone-built monument

is the fact that




Pearse Street,


Co. Westmeath

Mullingar Town Park has had major improvements in recent years.

the Green Bridge area

saw action during the

War of Independence

in Mullingar, when

Gen. Sean MacEoin,

the “Blacksmith of Ballinalee”,

during his

escape from British soldiers

at Mullingar Railway

Station, was shot

at the Green Bridge,

and taken, seriously

wounded, to the Military

Barracks. The

location of the memorial

was selected due to

its proximity to

Columb Barracks and

the railway station, on

the banks of the canal

which can never be

Best wishes from

built on.

“For the monument

we got local tradesman

to do the all work and

sourced most of the

materials locally too.

We are very proud of

the work carried out by

local Stonemason

Philip Smith and

helper John Corrigan,”

Mr. Colletine added.


As part of the An

Táisce National Spring

Clean effort, the

Mullingar Tidy Towns

committee are asking

Mullingar residents to

come out and help keep


39 Oliver Plunkett Street



their own town clean

on the last Saturday of

this month, 29 April at


“The idea is that we

will all meet up at Market

Square near the Joe

Dolan statue and filter

out into the general

town area and the

approach roads.”Anita

Kennedy, Tidy Towns

Administrator, exp -


The committee said

they are also hoping

that Resident’s Associations

will take part in

the big clean up. “We

are always looking for

new members and

hopefully through the

National Spring Clean

plan, we might find

some people who will

be willing to come on

board and help out

with Tidy Towns and

the many different projects

we have going on.”

Ms. Kennedy said that

new volunteers would

be especially welcome

with the national Tidy

Town’s Competition

swiftly approaching.

“Judging for the competition

will start in

June and go on until

August. We never know

when the judges are

coming, so have to have

the town looking it’s

best all the time!”

She said that the

Westmeath County

Council have been very

supportive with regard

to the National Spring

Clean, providing them

with materials including

pickers, bags and

gloves, as well as with

the many other projects

they have undertaken

through the

years. “We want to

bring the community

together; when you volunteer

for these things

you form new friendships

so it’s a great way

of socialising as well.”

Mullingar Tidy

Towns has been the

main force in recent

years behind the

improved rankings of

the town in both the

Irish Business Against

Litter (IBAL) and the

Tidy Town’s Competition,

while thanks must

also go to the outdoor

staff members of Westmeath

County Council -

including the early

morning street cleaners,

who each week do

an excellent job in

removing the untidiness

of the “night

before” effects, especially

at weekends -

with, be it said, the

local rook, jackdaw and

seagull denizens also

participating in their

own “very early” morning

clean-up and

removal scheme even

before the Council

workers arrive!

In 2015, Mullingar

was awarded a very

respectable 19th position

in the ‘Clean to

European norms’ category

with the report

stating, “Seven out of

ten sites surveyed in

Mullingar got the top

litter grade – some of

the very good sites

included Fair Green

Shopping Centre,

Mullingar Train Station

and the Recycle

Facility – these sites

were not just clear of

litter, but were freshly

presented and maintained.”


Contd. on page 15

The Pest Control Specialists

Supporting Tidy Towns

by keeping

Mullingar Pest Free

Tel: 044 93 55985


TOPIC • 20 April, 2017



Encouraging the spirit of Tidy

Towns and Villages Committees

is important

Just one of the town’s many roundabout displays is

located at Dominick Street, Mullingar.

Mullingar continues to make real progress

THERE have been

plenty of encouraging

signs of an

improving spirit

amongst the local

Tidy Towns committees,

not only

in Mullingar, but

right across all

the other towns

and villages in

Westmeath. Publicly


the com -

m i tment of the se

voluntary and

community workers

involved is of

real importance.

Last year, Mullingar

Tidy Towns committee’s

additional efforts

resulted in an

improvement on the

previous year’s total

by a significant 10


Even though other

local Westmeath

entries surpassed this

in terms of extra

points gained,

Mullingar, as one of

the midlands’ largest

Tidy Towns

Competition 2016

LAST year Mullingar received a very impressive

score of 277 - a 10 mark improvement on it’s 2015

score. In the report. the adjudicators congratulated

the team on their community involvement

and planning. “Your hard-working committee of

11 members is applauded on the excellent work

that it is doing for your town and we would

strongly encourage you to go on a recruitment

drive for new members as larger numbers would

enable you to tackle a greater number and more

ambitious projects.”

The group was also complimented on their work

with local schools which they have continued this

year, organising activities such as birdwatching.

The group is also involved with the scouts with

whom they organised a clean up as well as helped

plant trees along the canal.

Tidy Towns Secretary Tomás Nally said the

group were hoping to reach out to locals who were

interested in ensuring their town is looking it’s

best for all visitors. “ We are looking for people

who take pride in being from Mullingar and want

to give back to their own community. We’d like

them to come to us with ideas for this, and in particular,

for their own areas.

The Tidy Towns Committee is a non-political

organisation and one that listens to all its members.

It has always been a very hard-working committee

such as John O’ Neill, our secretary. John

really breathed new life into it but sadly, he

passed away last year. We are trying to build on

his legacy and go onwards and upwards”, said


Great atmosphere

Parties catered for

Live Sports Shown

every day

Patrick Street, Mullingar

044 93 40932

towns, made real


This year, the efforts

to date by the

Mullingar committee,

particularly their

major 1916 Memorial

Park project close to

the Green Bridge

must surely leave

them in line for a further

jump in marks,

and for edging their

way further up the

national Tidy Towns

ladder. Mullingar

town has a lot of

attractive elements,

once they are well presented,

and ‘marketed’

in the best

sense of that oftenmisused


The more co-operation

they are given by

local residents and

communities, particularly

by people in

active local committees

who are making

sure their own areas

are kept litter free and

looking well, the better

will be the outcome

for Mullingar.

We would appeal to

all residents’ groups,

on behalf of

Mullingar Tidy

Towns, particularly

in areas where good

voluntary work has

been their hallmark

over recent years, to

help and encourage

other areas to adopt a

similar proactive

approach towards littering.

In recent days, we’ve

seen teams of people

out in half a dozen

towns and villages

across the country,

with up to 20 people

on these teams. Only

if Mullingar, Athlone

and all the local Tidy

Towns entrants make

a similar effort can

they hope to keep up

with the improvements

emerging in

these other entries

from other counties.



Litter bins are very

important, be it said,

and even if the Coun-

Contd. on page 16

Get involved...

As the Mullingar Tidy Town’s Committee

prepare for the arrival of the national judges

they would welcome any help people can

offer. Adjudicators can arrive at any time

between June and August so the committee

is currently looking for people to help with

admin roles, fundraising as well as general

upkeep. If you would like to get involved

phone Chairperson, Bill Collentine on 086 245



Dominick Street, Mullingar


Friday 5th May

Tickets €15


Mr. Collentine said the committee

are currently working on

a three year plan to identify

areas that need improving,

which they will they will complete

shortly. “We are fortunate

to have had work carried out

through the Tús Scheme which

does a serious amount of work

Dog fouling

for Mullingar.”

Mr. Nally said that the Tidy

Towns judges had provided the

group with a lot of helpful information

regarding what they

need to work on as an organisation.

“There is an awful lot of

work behind the scenes that

goes on that many people don’t

Dog fouling is a health hazard and spoils walkways and amenities for everybody. Dog

faeces carry various infections including toxocariasis. This is caused by roundworms in

the dog’s intestines. Children are most vulnerable to the serious effects of this

infection which can result in eye disorders, dizziness, nausea, asthma and epileptic fits.

Under Section 22 of the Litter Pollution Act, 1997-2003, dog owners are legally obliged

to clean up after their dog if they go to the toilet in public places e.g. on the street or in

green areas of housing estates and a fine of €150 can be imposed if they do not.

Failure to pay this fine can result in prosecution with a maximum fine of €3,000 on


Westmeath County Council have recently launched the Green Dog

Walkers Initiative which is a non confrontational and friendly way

to change attitudes about dog fouling. The philosophy of this

campaign is to start changing public attitudes so that it becomes

socially unacceptable not to clean up after your dog.

This campaign is based on a person taking a “pledge” to:

• Clean up after their dog

• Wear the GDW hi vis vest or carry the GDW bag dispenser

(dog collar attachment) when walking their dog

• Carry extra dog waste bags

• Be happy to be approached to “lend” a dog waste bag to those without

• Be a friendly reminder to other dog walkers to clean up after their dog/s

The toolkit has the following items:

• Guidebook on how to roll out the campaign

• Pledge forms & pens

• Posters & cable ties

• Hi vis vests

• Bag dispenser (attaches to dog collar)

• Children’s colouring sheets (to educate from as early as possible)

Please note that the person who takes the pledge is given either the hi vis vest OR the

dog collar attachment but not both.

The pledge forms are returned to the Environment Section,

Westmeath County Council so that the Council can monitor

the progress of the roll out of this campaign throughout the county.

DOG FOULING is a nuisance both county and nationwide and

it is with assistance from the public in rolling out this campaign

that attitudes can be changed to make a real difference.

realise. It’s not just a case of

going out and planting flowers.

There is a very rigid point system

that they use. Westmeath

County Council have been really

supportive and they are very

interested in the work that we

are hoping to do”

16 TOPIC • 20 April, 2017


Encouraging the spirit of Tidy Towns and

Villages Committees is important

Contd. from page 15

cil cannot supply new

bins in this regard, it

should be possible for

an active committee,

to purchase, put in

place, and even empty

their own bins, provided

it is placed in a

highly visible spot,

where some people

inclined to dump

their household into a

bin, find it awkward

to do so. A bin

beneath a street light

or even strapped to

the pole, would be

one beneficial location,

we suggest.

Where residents in

an area see anyone

throwing away litter

openly, they should

politely tell them they

regard this as an antisocial

act, and

politely, but firmly

advise them to

remove their rubbish.

If any such litterers

realise that their local

community frowns on

such behaviour, they

should learn to be

more careful and


The standard litter

bin has proved more

effective for litter control

due to its greater

capacity and

restricted opening, it

was clearly stated at

several Council meetings

over recent

years. Having a good

bin for litter in place

in an area and appealing

on it for care and

consideration is a

good Tidy Towns


It is great to see all

the wonderful results

this year for the towns

and villages from last

year, and to see former

All-Ireland winners

like Tyrrellspass and

Multyfarnham moving

well back into the Tidy

Towns fray in recent


The County Council

officials including

local engineers and

outdoor staff who play

such a valuable part in

Tidy Towns work are to

be complimented also

on their contributions,

and regular removal of

litter and rubbish - like

the Mullingar street

cleaners, whose early

morning work is so

valuable to the town

and area. Similarly in

other areas, and in the

local towns and villages


efforts and such cooperation

can be of

huge value.



In rural Westmeath

for example, one need

only look at the massive

improvement at

Streamstown Village,

which had been

unfairly dubbed by an

Irish tabloid as the

most untidy village in

Ireland”. The sensation-seeking


newspaper got a local

photograph at the time,

seeking to justify their

story, and the Streamstown

residents were

rightly affronted by

this. Curiously, while

Streamstown has since

become one of the leading

Tidy Towns entries

in Westmeath, through

the local community

efforts, their work has

got no positive publicity

in the same Sunday

tabloid. Only news

that can be seen as ‘bad


As our photo shows, the County Council outdoor workers - out very early in the

mornings to clean away the rubbish of previous hours and to empty the bins, do a first

class job, almost unnoticed, and the local rook, jackdaw and gull population, like the rook

pictured, also clean away much of the food remains - even before the human street

cleaners arrive, including removal of the effects of over-indulgence in food and drink....

news’ it seems, attracts

some media people.

As the then local Cllr.

Joe Flanagan, said at

the time, “ the gutter

press came down and

portrayed a terrible

picture of Streamstown.”

But Streamstown

people gave the

lie to the defaming of

their local area, and

fair-minded people

have since acknowledged

their fine work

and major advances.


Secretary, Tomås Nally also

praised locals who were quick to

offer words of support to the committee

on their achievement. “People

have been brilliant and very

supportive of the 1916 memorial and

we have been delighted with the feedback.

We have had people stopping

members of the committee on the

street and saying it was a great thing

to do. It’s going to be there for

another 100 years hopefully if not


He said that making sure the town

stays clean and tidy is down to everyone

in lives there. “It’s not about anyone

being burdened with a huge

amount of work. It’s about everybody

just doing a small little bit.”

You can find out more about committee’s

upcoming projects and

activities on their Facebook page

Mullingar Tidy Towns.


Michael English

Sunday 14th May

Pearse Street,

Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

Phone: 044 93 48564



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044 934 9476


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Sunday: 11am - 7pm




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& Mullingar Taxi Cabs

Tel: 087 909 4494

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/ Wheelchair accessible

Call in and talk to a member of

staff about our homecare range -

Allowing Independent Living

in Your Own Home

TOPIC • 20 April, 2017





DOZENS of locals

were donning their

best active wear at Lilliput

House on

Wednesday, 5 April to

take part in the third

Lilliput 5km Series- a

5km event aimed at

amateur runners who

are looking to

improve their fitness.

Organiser Frankie

Wright said the races take

place over three Wednesdays

and are aimed at people

who have not much

previous running experience.

“It is a very flat

course and also it’s not an

Athletics Ireland (AI) event

so it’s not going to be for

really serious athletes. It’s

really for people who might

not be all that comfortable

among top athletes and it

gives them a chance to go

out and enjoy it.”

The race consists of a two

lap course which means

that there is an opportunity

for participants to opt

out halfway through if

they wish. “If somebody is

feeling the strain, a person

can take a lap out. It’s just

really aimed at allowing

people to have some fun.

The fact that it takes place

over three weeks also

means that participants

can document their

progress as the weeks went


Frankie is organising

another fitness based event

at the Lilliput which will

take place this August- an

Ironman Weekend and

which will be the first of

it’s kind in Ireland, is in aid

of Saplings Autism.

He said there will be a

range of different options

available over the weekend

for individuals who are

feeling particularly adventurous.

“You can do the full

Ironman on the Saturday

and there are trilogies of

marathons on on the Saturday,

Sunday and Monday so

there is a load of events


Frankie said he believed

that events like the Lilliput

5km series are the ideal

place for anyone who is

thinking about getting fit

to begin their journey.

“Here you’ll find, that if

you are struggling a little

bit, someone will put their

arm on your shoulder and

give you a little bit of


He said that many of the

participants had saw dramatic

improvements in

their running times over

the three weeks. “We had

two ladies started off at 48

minutes and they finished

on 36 minutes by the time

they got to the third week

so that was a huge improvement.”

Thanks to programmes

such as Operation Transformation

there a rise in

the number of individuals

seeking to get fit in the last

number of years, a trend

Frankie is very much

aware of. “I was always into

this sort of thing but I

remember all the fads that

appeared through the years

when I was growing up like

squash courts and Jane

Fonda’s workout videos.

They always only lasted a

very short space of time

and then they were gone.

When everyone started to

run and cycle, I thought it

was another fad and that

there would shortly be lots

of bikes for cheap, but no,

it’s really growing and

growing. You have

Triathlons and Duathlons

and it’s getting bigger all

time. When we first started

to advertise the Ironman

weekend, I had people

inquiring if they could do

three marathons in a row

and back to back Ironmans.

It seems to be now the more

extreme it is, the more people

want to do it!”

The third and final race

of the series will be take

place on Wednesday at Lilliput

House, Lough Ennell

on 19 April at 7pm sharp.

For adults the price is €10

per race or €25 for three

races. For children U15 it is

€5 per race or €10 for three

races. The price includes

parking, race entry, marshalls,

first aid, use of the

showers and refreshments.

Those interested can register

at lilliputlegend.com/


David Lynn and

Michelle Hart pictured

at Lilliput House.

Stephen Cosgrave and Louise Clarke getting

ready to take part in the Lilliput 5km Series.

Amanda Horkan, Liz McGrath and Jenny

Percival and Patricia Connell.

Stephen O’ Neill and Mark Geoghegan were in

good spirits at the event.

Anna Redmond and Vanessa Armstrong.

Cathal Morgan and Niamh Murtagh were keen to

get started.

Joanna Daly, Paula Murray and Emer Savage pictured on the day.


Geraghty and



pictured at

Lilliput House.

Sandra Garvin and Róisín Curneen pictured just

before the race kicked off.

Colm Dardis and Eoin Nugent pictured on

Wednesday evening.

18 TOPIC • 20 April, 2017




This is the first of two articles I

am doing in The Topic on

Alzheimer’s disease. This article

will explain the symptoms, stages

and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Next week’s article will

examine the causes and treatment

options available for

Alzheimer’s disease.

Dementia is an umbrella term

used to describe various conditions

which damage brain cells

and lead to a loss of brain function

over time. Dementia causes

a progressive decline in a person’s

mental functioning. It is a

broad term, which describes a

loss of memory, intellect, rationality,

social skills and normal

emotional reactions. Alzheimer's

disease, the most common cause

of dementia in Ireland, accounts

for more than 50% of all cases.

The second most common form

is vascular dementia; it accounts

for 20 to 30% of cases and is a

form of dementia, which may be

preventable. The symptoms of

dementia develop gradually over

a period of years. The progression

of these diseases is largely

unpredictable for each individual.

The facts in brief

Due to an increasingly ageing

population, the number of people

with dementia in Ireland is

expected to rise from the current

level of 42,000 to almost 150,000

over the next 25 years or so. 11

new cases of dementia are diagnosed

on a daily basis. 36 - 53%

of dementia sufferers in Ireland

experience a mild-moderate

degree of the condition. 35% of

dementia sufferers have high

dependence levels.

76% of the overall care of all

dementia sufferers is taken up by

family members.

Dementia has a life changing

physical, emotional and mental

impact on the affected person

and their primary carer and family.

There are more than 100 conditions

that cause dementia.

While the risk of dementia

increases with age, it is not a natural

part of ageing.

Dementia affects approximately

one in 20 of people aged

over 65 years. This rises to one in

five in the 80 plus age group.

While it is comparatively rare,

dementia can affect younger


There are approximately 3,800

people under 65 with Younger

Onset Dementia in Ireland.

Risk Factors

The risk factors for Alzheimer’s

include increasing age, being

female, family history, head

injury, parkinsons disease, low

thyroid levels, exposure to

dietary aluminium, cardiovascular

disease, smoking and high

alcohol intake.

Stages of Alzheimer’s


Stage 1: Mild

Alzheimer’s disease

The mild stage of Alzheimer’s

disease can last from 2 to 4 years

or longer. People with mild

Alzheimer’s disease are usually

alert, sociable, and enjoy life, but

their forgetfulness can interfere

with daily living and may frustrate

them. They may be overly

emotional, temperamental and

may lose interest in things that

previously enjoyed.

Stage 2: Moderate

Alzheimer’s disease

The moderate stage of

Alzheimer’s disease is often the

longest, lasting from 2 to 10

years. Symptoms at this stage

include: Getting lost easily, even

in places they know well; becoming

more confused about recent

events; needing assistance with

or supervision with tasks such as

dressing; arguing more than

usual; believing things are real

when they are not; restlessness

and agitation; difficulty sleeping

and a tendency to wander.

Stage 3: Severe

Alzheimer’s Disease

The severe stage can last from 1

to 3 years or longer. People with

severe Alzheimer’s disease cannot

do things on their own anymore.

Constant care, 24 hours a

day, seven days a week, is usually



As there is no straightforward

test for Alzheimer’s disease, making

a diagnosis is often difficult,

particularly in the early stages. A

diagnosis is usually made by

excluding other causes such as

infection, vitamin deficiency, thyroid

problems, brain tumour,

depression and the side effects

of drugs, which all can produce

similar symptoms. Specialists can

only make a probable diagnosis.

However, specialists with experience

in memory loss are able to

diagnose Alzheimer’s disease to

within 80-90% accuracy.

Information Evening

Whelehans Pharmacy host a

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Information

evening in the Greville

Arms Hotel next Thursday, April

27th at 7pm. The event is free of

charge and all are welcome.

Speakers include:

Dr Michael O’Cuill, Consultant

Psychiatrist; leading Dementia

expert in Westmeath.

Mr Eamonn Brady, pharmacist

at Whelehans Pharmacy.

Donal Murphy, Regional Manager,

Alzheimer Society Ireland.

Book your place for the

evening by calling Whelehans at

04493 34591 or e-mail

health@whelehans.ie or simply

turn up on the night.

To be continued…next week in

the Westmeath Topic, I will discuss

treatment of Alzheimer’s


Disclaimer: Please ensure you

consult with your healthcare professional

before making any

changes recommended

For comprehensive and free

health advice and information

call in to Whelehans, log on to

www.whelehans.ie or dial 04493


You can also e-mail queries to


Final tickets on sale

for Life Festival 2017

IRELAND’S summer festival

season will be kicking

off on the shores of Lough

Ennell outside Mullingar in

just over four weeks, when

Life 2017 gets underway.

Now in its twelfth year,

the festival attracts some of

the world’s premier underground

electronic musicians

to the picturesque

grounds of Belvedere

House, for three days and

nights of camping and


This year’s line-up is the

festivals best yet, with a

global collaboration of

techno musicians including

favourites Eats Everything,

Nina Kraviz, Patrick Topping,

Alan Fitzpatrick,

Maya Jane Coles, DJ EZ,

Rudimental and Duke


There will be a strong contingent

of Irish DJs at this

year’s festival including

Sunil Sharpe, DJ Deece,

Kaily, Jamie Behan and

Maedbh O'Connor.

One of the most hotlyanticipated

DJs at this

year’s festival will be Resident

Advisor’s poll-topper,


Born Steffen Berkhahn,

the German DJ and Producer

grew up in East

Berlin and where he began

aiming for a career as a professional

footballer or a

long-distance runner, an

ambition that was thwarted

due to injury.

In the early 1990s he

began DJing under the

name Dixon in Berlin clubs

such as Turbine, Tresor, E-

Werk and WMF.

For several years he held

a weekly residency at WMF

with Mitja Prinz, which he

describes a key experience

in his formative years as a

DJ. His residencies at Tresor,

WMF and later Weekend

Club all involved

playing long sets. In a city

known in particular for

techno music, Dixon established

a reputation as a

deep house DJ.

Dixon's global prominence

as a DJ has grown

over the years through

appearances at clubs and

festivals worldwide. He was

voted No. 1 in Resident

Advisor's Top 100 DJ Poll in

2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

In terms of style, German

newspaper Die Welt credits

Dixon with "bringing back

vocals, drama and grand

emotions to the dancefloor"

after the electronic dance

music scene was dominated

by minimal techno.

Life Festival takes place

on the grounds of

Belvedere House, Mull -

ingar from 26 to 28 May. For

further information or to

purchase tickets visit


David McSavage brings his

take on modern Irish life

to Mullingar Arts Centre

THE ever-controversial

David McSavage is set to

bring his take on modern

Irish life to stage when he

plays at Mullingar Arts

Centre, for one night only,

on Monday, 29 April.

One of Ireland’s most

popular comedians and

street entertainers,

McSavage’s cutting commentary

and performances

cover all aspects

of life, and nothing is safe

from his truth induced


With his collection of

characters including

Mick The Barman, former

President Mary

Robinson and Pat Kenny,

audiences relate to each

character from the many

aspects of Irish life.

A regular guest on TV

and radio shows in Ireland

for many years,

McSavage has also

appeared at all the major

comedy festivals including

the Edinburgh Festival

and internationally in

Australia, Germany and

Scandinavia. He is wellknown

for his street

shows in Dublin’s Temple


He devised Headwreckers

for the Channel 4 TV

show Comedy Lab in 2008.

In 2009, he devised,

wrote and starred in the

six part TV series called

The Savage Eye for RTÉ,

which was later nominated

for an IFTA award

for Best Entertainment

Series and Best Director.

In his new live show, A

Sacred Cow, McSavage

looks at the many former

and current institutions

which shape Ireland.

David McSavage plays

Mullingar Arts Centre on

Monday, 29 April. Tickets

are from €15 and are

available by calling the

Mullingar Arts Centre

box office on 044-934-7777

or online at

mullingarartscentre. ie

Dixon is one most hotly-anticipated DJs at this year’s Life Festival.





17th – 22nd April at 8.00pm

The nicest kids in town, Mullingar Student Players bring

to life the iconic musical full of extra clutch volume –

HAIRSPRAY. It’s 1962 in Baltimore and quirky, plus-sized teenager Tracy Turnblad

has one dream: to dance on The Corny Collins Show. Featuring the hits ‘Good

Morning Baltimore’, ‘You Can’t Stop The Beat’, ‘Welcome To The 80s’ and ‘I Know

Where I’ve Been’, this is set to be the BIGGEST show in town, one not to miss.



29th April at 8pm

David McSavage is Ireland’s most

divisive comedian – he’s funny too! The Church,

politicians, alcohol and celebrities, will come under

scrutiny with a level of honesty & caustic wit.




12th May – 13th May at 8pm

With hair as long as the Amazon, and a voice as golden as an

angel, will Rapunzel be able to escape the evil clutches of

Mother Gothel and return to her true family?

www.mullingarartscentre.ie • Box office: 044 9347777

TOPIC • 20 April, 2017




Pat Breen (father of the groom), Sheila Holahan, Jill O’Reilly and Margaret Featherstone at the

wedding reception at the Shamrock Lodge Hotel.

Amanda, Melinda, Geraldine and Hugh Swann at the wedding reception at the

Shamrock Lodge Hotel.

Daniel Phillips and Laura Brennan at the

wedding reception at the Shamrock Lodge


Pictured at the wedding reception at the Shamrock Lodge

Hotel were Brandon and Michelle Botha, Finian Donnan,

Oísín, Fionnuala, Aoibhann and Patrick Kenny.

Pictured at the wedding reception at the Shamrock Lodge

Hotel were groomsmen Joe Kelly, Shane Rafferty and

Damien Allen.

Pictured at the wedding reception at the

Shamrock Lodge Hotel were Grainne

O’Rourke and Joe Tierney.

Jacqui and Nik Thaker at the wedding

reception at the Shamrock Lodge Hotel.

The wedding of Suzy Flynn from Tullanisky, Mullingar and James Breen

from Tullywood, Baylin, Athlone took place in the Church of the

Immaculate Conception in Gainstown, Mullingar recently. Following the

wedding ceremony, the newlyweds were joined by family and friends

for their wedding reception, which took place at the Shamrock Lodge

Hotel, Athlone.

Pictured at the wedding reception at the Shamrock Lodge

Hotel were Trevor Mullen, James Barry and Melissa Walsh.

20 TOPIC • 13 April, 2017


The Original

“Rich and beautiful”

Irish language

dialect lost in


"Irish has long since

ceased to be the language of

the people of Westmeath

and what must have been a

rich and beautiful dialect

has been entirely lost.

Nothing of its vocabulary

has survived, save a few

stray words scattered here

and there in common

speech. The greater part of

the place names of the

county, however, still preserve

their ancient forms,

some plainly, others in disguise

and their pronunciation

by those who speak

naturally and unaffectedly

is, in many cases, as Irish

as when the language was

still in common use."

(Fr. Paul Walsh, writing

in 1915 in his "Placenames

of Westmeath".)

Big drive in 1976

to get rid of litter

A big number of areas in

Mullingar are to take part

in the Anti-Litter Competition

being held during

Mullingar Steak Festival.

They include the following

areas, (with the Area secretaries

where possible

listed) -

Ginnell Terrace and

Springfield, Patrick Street;

Green Road (St. Brigids

Tce., to Longford Road);

Hillside Drive; Lynn

Avenue; Woodlands (Lt:

Paul Pakenham), Millmount

(J.Kelly, Hon. Sec.);

Bellview Heights (Hugh

Devanney); Clonmore area

(Desmond Maguire);

Dominick Street (John

O’Malley); Pearse Street

(Lal Shaw) Hibernian

House; Harbour Street

(Peter Martin); Austin Friars

Street (George Murray.);

Barrack Street)

McCurtain Street (Miss

Mary Costello); Seery

Street (Michael O’Reilly);

Newlands (Patrick Whitney,

46 Newlands); Oliver

Plunkett Street (Jim

O’Donnell, Days Bazaar),

Mary Street (Richard

Daly); College Street

(Garda Charlie Dunleavy);

Bishopsgate Street (Mrs.

M. Hannigan) Castle Street

(Michael Duffy); Auburn

Road (David Algar);

Ballinderry (Lt. Col. Ml

O’Donnell); Millmount

Road (Miss Madeline

Shaw); Bellview Road (

Eamonn Farrell), Great

Oaks, Dublin Road.

Some of the area secretaries

are named in some

cases above.

ACTION GIRLS: An action shot taken during a

Raharney v. St. Munna’s game in 1996, showing

a battle for possession between Catherine Glynn,

St. Munna’s and with Sandra Greville. Raharney

with Shirley McLoughlin. St Munna’s (in


Transported for

having tuppenny


“At the Assizes in

Mullingar in January, 1839,

Margaret Reilly, was convicted

of having a china

saucer, value 2 pence or

more in her possession, the

property of Robert Jones

Esq., and the Westmeath

woman was sentenced to 7

years' transportation and

was conveyed to Richmond

Penitentiary on January

19, prior to transportation.

Ellen Glennon was

charged with having

picked the pocket of

Christopher Mulvany on

August 11, 1838 and taken a

£5 note and three Bank of

Ireland pound notes, and a

silk handkerchief, and she

was also sentenced to seven

years transportation.

Anne Killcooly was

charged and convicted of

having in her possession

quilting and edging, the

property of Thomas Heade,

Mullingar and she was also

sentenced to seven years

transportation, while her

sister, Catherine Killcooly,

who was similarly charged

was sentenced to three

months in jail with solitary

confinement for one week

each month.

At the March 1839

Assizes, John Heuston who

was convicted of being a

vagrant and of having no

settled place of abode, was

sentenced to seven years

transportation or alternatively,

to pay a bail bond, to

keep the peace for three

months. The defendant,

according to the court

records, obtained bail and

was released the next day.

In April of 1839, three

men were charged at

Mullingar Court with having

waylaid and violently

assaulted Thomas Kelly at

Newtown with loys, shovels

and pitchforks. The three

defendants were Michael

Casady Snr., Michael

Casady Jnr. and Thomas

Casady and all three were

convicted. Michael Casady

Snr. was sentenced to

twelve months in jail, with

hard labour, while the

other two defendants were

sentenced to seven years'


(From local court records,


WELL-KNOWN FACES: Joan McTiernan, Sean Lynch, Ciara Corcoran and

Brendan Convery pictured at the Mullingar Arts Centre, in April, 1995.

Vitamin deficiency and

malnutrition rare in 1960

According to a report in the U.N. Food

and Agriculture Organisation Production

Year Book (1959) a record 3,500 calories

are available daily to Irish citizens,

prompting an official of the Irish Housewives

Association to comment: “I was

rather surprised to hear that we are the

world’s best fed people. Of course we are

an agricultural country and I suppose we

should be one of the best fed people.”

A doctor commented that even in the

most civilised countries, cases of malnutrition

were found, but it was very rarely

found in Ireland and even cases of vitamin

deficiency were rare.

“Because of the small grouping of people

in towns and cities here, you have a

very ready supply of fresh vegetables and

food in all areas, in contrast to large

urbanised areas in Britain, America and

the Continent,”he stated.

- The Irish Times, August 31, 1960

A 1988 MEMORY: A group of local Mullingar people pictured at the Old

Folks Party held in the Red Cross Rooms, Mullingar in 1988 with musicians

Colmán Moynihan and Noel Battle pictured in front.

TAUGHMON MACRA SOCIAL: A photo from forty

years, ago at a Taughmon Macra Social, showing

from left, Maura Nugent, Colette Bligh, Eileen

Loughrey, Matty Lourghrey, Patricia Corcoran, co.

Sec., and Pat Slevin, all from Taughmon.

Musicians are noted anglers

As we reported recently, Des Doherty (of Showband

fame) and another noted musician Vincent Baker (sorry

about the wrong name last time) had some great fishing

in the Dysart Lakes last week and they were back again

to follow up their successes with a catch of five very nice

tench, including one specimen, caught by Vincent Baker.

They weighed 3lb 8oz, 4lbs 2oz, 5lbs 7oz and 6lbs 1oz. This

latter fish was caught in the same place as the big rudd

caught the previous week. The fish was properly weighed

and recorded in Kearney’s of Castlepollard and has been

accepted by the Irish Specimen Fish Committee.

(From Topic, June 1976)

22 local premises in

Mullingar Pubs Quiz

Teams from twenty two

public houses in Mullingar

are taking part in the 1976

Pubs Quiz Competition,

during Mullingar Steak


The first competition

included A. Moore’s, P. J.

Gallagher’s and The

Ennell. The second competition

featured, Broders

Hotel, Jimmy Bennett’s

and Eamonn Farrell’s and

the following one will

include Kerrigan’s, The

Sportsman’s Inn and Larry


At Mullingar courthouse

on 19 October, 1837, 24 years

old Henry Gaffney was

charged with having

attacked the house of

Thomas Lee on 11

August,1837 and with having

assaulted Thomas Lee

and with breaking windows

"aided and abetted by

upwards of fifty men."

The defendant was convicted

of the charge and he

The following competition

included the Old

Stand, Michael Hughes’s

and Billy Gilleran’s, as well

as, Lynch’s, The Greville

Arms and The Colt. Also,

Caulfield’s, Canton Casey’s

and The Tavern took part,

as did Butler’s of Pearse

Street and Cullens. Lastly,

James McCormick and

Cronin’s (Kevin Moore)

participated. The concluding

stages will take place


(From Topic, June 1976)

Fifty men attacked

Westmeath house

was sentenced to a month in

jail, or pay a fine of £2 to the

Queen and £2 to the prosecution.

Another defendant, William

Branagan, also aged 24,

was before the court on a

similar charge, but in his

case the verdict was "No

bill" and he was released by

the court.

(Local court records 1837)

TOPIC • 20 April, 2017




A County Music fundraising evening for a new playground for St. Brigid’s School, Mullingar took place at the Annebrook House Hotel in Mullingar recently.

Never one to miss some country music, our Out & About snapper was around town on the night and ventured in to capture the many local faces. Got a special night planned

and would like Mick to drop in? Call 87-2797270 and if at all possible he will make it.

Enjoying the music were Emily Quinn, Geraldine Brennan, Rachel Kennedy, Helen Kennedy and Donal


Deputy Peter Burke, Ann Marie Hogg, David Hogg and Bob Keating

pictured in the Annebrook House Hotel.

Sharon Penrose and Jim Burke enjoying the night.

Megan McCullagh and Liam Faulkner pictured on

the night.

Daryl Gahan, James Ledwith, Lorraine Gahan, Assumpta Walsh, Victoria

Gahan and John Gahan enjoying the night.

Michael and Eileen Smith pictured.

Mick Sheridan and Kathleen McNamee pictured.

Bernie Corroon, John Joe Reilly and Mary Brennan pictured in the

Annebrook House Hotel.

Aishling Archibold, Toni Gaye, Mary McCormack, Karen Molloy, Tricia Casey and Danielle Flynn pictured

on the night.


District Notes - Nótaí na gCeantar

TOPIC • 20 April, 2017




Congratulations to this week’s

winner of the Cara Phort 50/50

draw, Diane Penrose, who won

€75. Our next draw will take

place on 6 April. Tickets are €2

each and this is a fundraising initiative

for Cara Phort Family

Resource Centre.



Ballynacargy library will be

closed Tuesday 18 April & Thursday

20 April. Reopening on Tuesday

25 April at 2.30pm. Contact

library H/Q on 044-93-32162,

Mullingar library on 044-93-

32161, or email: hqlib@westmeathcoco.ie.




Ballynacargy vintage only tractor

run will take place on 23

April. All proceeds are in aid of

Cara Phort FRC. A monster raffle

will be held in conjunction with

the event. Prizes include a 49 and

32 inch TV, 100 bales of flamers

and 100 bags of turf. Be sure to

buy your tickets now.



The boxing club are holding

their annual Easter raffle. Lines

will be sold throughout the village,

costing €2 each or 3 lines for

€5. Please support for the ongoing

development of our club.




Reader at the 8pm vigil Mass in

Boherquill on Saturday, 22 April

will be Geraldine Gilligan and

Eucharistic minister will be Lily



Please note an important vintage

meeting takes place this

Wednesday, 19 April at 9pm in

Streete parish park centre. As a

number of important decisions

must be made, we depend on a

good attendance and we ask all

who can to attend. We need to

talk about our Philip Moran tractor

run on Saturday, 8 July, in aid

of the Irish Heart Foundation and

also discuss our plans for vintage

day, Sunday, 9 July. All are welcome,

and we would love if some

young people came along. For

any further information call 086-

259-6656, 0868-123-514 or 086-

830-1347. The success depends on

local support.


The daffodils were fading and

being replaced by the paler yellow

of primroses on the roadside

ditches during the Ramblers walk

from Streete to the River Inny at

Derrad and back on Sunday 9

April. On Sunday 23 April, the

Ramblers will walk near

Rathowen. Cars will leave

Boherquill at 1.30pm and meet at

the start of the Rathowen bog

walk on the road between

Rathowen church and Streete at

1.45pm. Anyone who would like

to travel by bus to Dublin airport

for the Netherlands trip on 28

April is asked to contact Alice

Nerney at 086-813-0780 ASAP.

The bus will leave Feerick's in

Rathowen at 9.15am sharp and

the Park Hotel in Mullingar at

9.45am sharp on Friday 28 April

2017. Ramblers are reminded that

annual subscriptions are now

due: €20 each or €30 for a family.

The Ramblers are always looking

for new members, so if you’d like

to come and join us on one of our

walks you are assured of a warm

welcome, just bring along your

walking boots (and a waterproof

jacket just in



The amount raised on Daffodil

Day, 24 March, in Streete was

€1,393. A big thank you to all

who supported, to the organisers,

and to all those who helped out.


Well done to the parish park

chairman and committee, as you

will see, the front of the centre

has been painted, walls at front,

shrubs planted and a tidy up has

been done. Should you see any

litter, please pick it up and dispose

of it. A raffle will take place

on vintage weekend, which we

trust you will support.





The following are the results

from the game held on Monday

10 April. The raffle winners: €15 -

Marie Moran, €10 - Tommie

McCormack & €10 - Marie Moran.

The winner on 9 games was Fintan

McCormack, who received

€50. Next on 7 games were

Mickey Carroll, Eilish McDonnell

& Maureen Farrell, and each

received €10. Table prize winners

were Johnny Ward, Irene Dennehy

& Willie Fitzgerald, and

each received €10. Well done to

all of the winners. The night finished

with a cuppa and goodies.



Our local Tidy Village committee

held their annual table quiz

on Good Friday, 14 April, in the

Horseleap Streamstown community

centre, where there was a

great turnout. A special word of

thanks to Trevor Marshall & Paul

Lynam for setting the questions

and for all of the input into the

night. There was a huge array of

questions for both the adult and

juvenile teams. There was a

house raffle on the night. Many

thanks to all who donated raffle

prizes. The winners on the night

were as follows: bottle of Jameson

– Niamh McCormack, bottle

of wine & sweets – Ciaran O’

Reilly, bottle of wine & sweets –

Paul Lynam, bottles of wine to

Martin Looram, Gertrude Fitzgerald

& Tom Moran (Killaroo),

Easter egg & sweets - Ann Lynam,

Monopoly - Aibheen Kelly and

Cluedo - Cliona McCormack. Well

done to all of the winners. The

winners of the adult team were

Aidan Walsh, Anselm Conlon,

Josie Boyle & Martin Looram. The

winners of the juvenile team

were Sarah McCormack, Sarah

Conlon, Thomas Conlon, Ava

McDonnell & Niall Maxwell. All

of the juniors received an Easter

egg for competing. There was a

cup of tea and goodies on the

night, which was very enjoyable.

A special word of thanks to each

and every one for their support

with this night and continued

support for our endeavours

throughout the year.



It has been decided to run with

the fundraising auction for Sunday

7 May in the community centre

at 2pm. We are appealing for

donations of good quality

saleable items for this event.

Patsy and Annie Guinnin pictured enjoying the Milltownpass GAA Club

Dinner Dance last weekend.

Please start by having a “spring

clean” in your homes and sheds

and set aside items for us. Collectors

and dates and times will be

available very soon.


Deepest sympathy is extended

to Edel Lynam, Dromore, and

Louise Colgan, Kilmalady, on the

death of their grandad, Michael

Beglan, late of Hillside Drive,

Mullingar, who passed away in St.

Camillus Nursing Centre in Killucan

on 8 April last. Michael

reposed in St. Camillus’ chapel of

rest on Monday afternoon.

Funeral Mass was held on Tuesday

morning in St. Camillus’

chapel and burial took place in

Sonna cemetery. Deepest sympathy

to his wife, sons, daughters,

in-laws, grandchildren, greatgrandchildren,

sisters, relatives

and friends. Deepest sympathy

to his daughter, Mary Martin,

from all of her I.C.A. colleagues in

our local guild. Deepest sympathy

to all of the family living in

our community and afar on their

loss. Deepest sympathy is also

extended to Laura Elliffe, Woodfield,

on the death of her father,

John (Sean) Molloy, Mearscourt,

Rathconrath, Mullingar, who

passed away on 13 April. John

passed away in St. James’s Hospital,

peacefully, following a short

illness. John reposed at his

daughter Clare’s residence on Friday

evening and removal took

place on Holy Saturday for

funeral service in St. Matthew’s

church, Milltown. Burial took

place afterwards in the adjoining

cemetery. Deepest sympathy to

John, David, Clare & Laura, sonsin-law,

daughters-in-law, grandchildren,

brothers, sister, in laws,

nieces, nephews, relatives and

friends. Our deepest sympathy to

Laura on the loss of her dad, to

Aidan on the loss of his father-inlaw,

Sean & Molly on the loss of

their grandad. Sympathy to all of

the family.


Horseleap United, in association

with Firstlight (formerly Irish Sudden

Infant Death Association),

are delighted to be holding their

festival on Sunday 30 April. This

event kicks off at 2pm in Horseleap

village, with a 6k charity

walk. You are invited to come

along as your favourite superhero.

There is a €5 per person

donation with discounts for families.

At 4.30pm there will be a

charity 5-a-side match with €5 a

head, a team of 7 and limited to

8 teams. A BBQ will be served

from 4pm to 7pm. Throughout

the afternoon there will be face

painting, pony rides and bouncing

castles. On the evening, there

will be music from Adrian from

7.30pm and The Nighthawks

from 10.30pm to late. This year

promises to be their biggest

event to date, so please come

along and support this worthy



Congratulations and best wishes

are extended to Anthony &

Vivian Finn, Cloughnaskaw,

Streamstown, on the birth of

their son, Alfie, a brother for Jack

& Oliver. Congratulations to all

of the extended family.


Congratulations and best

wishes are extended to Deborah

Reynolds, late of the village,

Horseleap and Tullamore, daughter

of Kathleen Reynolds & Tom

Reynolds, who married John

Quinn from Tipperary last week

in Tullamore. Wedding reception

with family and friends was held

in The Tullamore Court, Tullamore.

Best wishes and every happiness

to Deborah & John in

married life.


Congratulations and best wishes

are extended to Lisa McCormack,

Corgrove, Streamstown, daughter

of Nicky & Bridie McCormack

on celebrating her 18th birthday

on Good Friday. Lisa celebrated

with family and friends in Moate

on Saturday night last. Best

wishes from your mum & dad, sister

Rachel, brothers Declan &

Mark, granny Marshall and all of

the extended family and friends.



The annual general meeting of

Horseleap Tidy Village is set for

Thursday 27 April in Ryan’s of

Horseleap at 8.30pm. It is imperative

that a crowd is in attendance

to ensure the continuation

of a committee. Please come

along on the night and show

your support and appreciation of

ongoing work in the village and

its surrounds.



Horseleap Tidy Village AGM on

Thursday 27 April.

Firstlight festival on Sunday 30


Fundraising auction on Sunday

7 May at 2pm.

First Holy Communion in Horseleap

church on Sunday 14 May

2017 at 11.30am.

Streamstown Tidy Village

annual BBQ on Saturday 17 June

with ‘Legacy’.





Special thanks to everyone who

participated in and all those who

prepared for all the holy week

and Easter ceremonies. Thank

you to all who prepared our

churches and grounds and those

who donated flowers - from

Father Barry and Father Benny.




Best of luck to our local Castletown

girl, Kelly Dalton, daughter

of Shirley and Padraig, Ballyhast,

who will be representing Castletown-Geoghegan

and St.

Malachy’s GAA club in the Westmeath

“Rose of Tralee” competition.

The Westmeath Rose

selection night will take place in

the Radisson Hotel, Athlone, on

Friday night, 21 April, 2017 at

8.30pm. Good luck, Kelly.


St. Malachy’s football club and

Castletown-Geoghegan camogie

club are having their annual

clothes collection on Saturday, 29

April, at 1.00pm at the GAA pitch.

As usual they will accept clothes,

shoes, bags, belts, curtains etc.,

and any bags already filled can be

stored at the pitch or, if they

require collection, please ring





There was no winner of last

week’s jackpot. Winning numbers

were 10, 16, 17 and 30. Three

number winner was Adam

Bouabbse and promoter’s prize

was won by Declan Kirby.Next

week’s draw will take place in the

Country Inn, Dysart, and the jackpot

will be €2,800




Ballinagore Macra will be having

a charity tractor and vintage

car run on Sunday, 30 April 2017

in aid of LARCC Cancer Support

Sanctuary. Cost of entry is €25

and registration is from 10.30am.

The run will begin from Ballinagore

GAA grounds. Both the

charity and the club would

greatly appreciate your support.




If you have any items of local

interest for the parish bulletin,

please send them to



The BCDL friendship club continues

each Monday morning

from 10.30am in St. Michael’s

hall, Castletown-Geoghegan.

New members are always welcome.


We extend our deepest sympathy

to the Lowry family,

Whitepark, Dysart, on the death

of their sister, Mrs. Rita Carr,

Athlone, to Mrs. Antoinette

Gavin, Dalystown, on the death

of her father, Mr. Hugh Leonard,

Sligo, to Mrs Maureen Berry,

Calverstown, on the death of her

brother Mr. Sean Molloy,

Mearscourt, Rathconrath, to the

family of the late Mrs. Kathleen

Convey, and to Mrs. Elsie Baker,

Ballykilroe, Ballinagore on the

death of her sister, Mrs. Phyllis

Ward, who died in England and

who will be interred in Galway.







A cake sale will take place at

Collinstown and Fore on Sunday

30 April next, following the conclusion

of 11.30am Mass at St.

Mary’s church, Collinstown, and

10am Mass at St. Feichin’s church,

Fore, respectively. Proceeds are in

aid of the Collinstown/Fore Community

Games Organisation.


20 MAY

A race night, the proceeds of

which are in aid of the locally

based Lough Lene Gaels camogie

club, will take place at the Lough

Lene Inn, Collinstown, on Saturday

night, 20 May. Further details

on this forthcoming event will be

stated in future Collinstown-Fore-

Drumcree news articles in this




One of the sub-committees of

the governing body of the GAA

organisation in Westmeath, while

examining player numbers available

to clubs in various grades of

underage and juvenile hurling,

concluded that the Lough Lene

Gaels and Turin hurling clubs

should be merged together in the

following age categories: U18

(minor), U16, U14 and U12. Lough

Lene Gaels and Turin were previously

merged together for a number

of years during the early to

mid 2000s, in the U18 (minor) and

U16 grades as combination

teams. During that time, Turin

Gaels, in 2003, won that year’s

premier U16 hurling championship

title, and the minor ‘A’

hurling championship title. The

Turin Gaels combination arrangement,

as it was known, was discontinued

by the order of the

GAA high authority in Westmeath,

and not with the agreement

of Lough Lene Gaels and

Turin hurling clubs! This time

around, though, the Lough Lene

Gaels and Turin hurling clubs

have formed an underage/juvenile

hurling club, not known as

Turin Gaels but as Na Piarsaigh

hurling club. This new club has

already made progress in terms

of progress in terms of fixtures

played, the results of which have

been mostly positive. In the 2017

Feile na nGael hurling competition,

Na Piarsaigh played Delvin

and Raharney in quarter and

semi-final fixtures respectively,

winning both fixtures, both of

which were played on Sunday 2

April, to qualify for the final of

this competition. The final scoreline

of the semi-final fixture,

played at Turin on Sunday

evening, 2 April, was Na Piarsaigh

3-5 Raharney 1-5. On Monday

evening, 3 April, Na Piarsaigh

played Clonkill at Turin in a round

1 fixture of division 1 of the 2017

U16 hurling league. Final scoreline:

Na Piarsaigh 1-7 Clonkill 3-9.

Castlepollard was the venue

where, on Wednesday evening, 5

April, Na Piarsaigh played Castlepollard

in a round 1 fixture of

division 1 of the 2017 U12 hurling

league. Na Piarsaigh won this fixture

by a margin of nine points.

Final scoreline: Na Piarsaigh 6-6

Castlepollard 3-6. Castletown-

Geoghegan was the venue

where, on Thursday evening, 6

April, Na Piarsaigh played Castletown-Geoghegan

in a division 1,

round 1 fixture of the 2017 U14

hurling league. Despite conceding

five goals to Castletown-

Geoghegan in this fixture, Na

Piarsaigh defeated Castletown-

Geoghegan by a margin of four

points. Final scoreline: Na Piarsaigh

4-13 (25) Castletown-

Geoghegan 5-6 (21).


Collinstown hall is the venue

where, on Tuesday nights, bingo

takes place, starting at 8.30pm.

The proceeds of this Tuesday

night bingo are in aid of the

finances of Lough Lene Gaels

hurling club. All support is very



It was with a mixture of grief,

shock and regret that Lough Lene

Gaels camogie club learned, on

Wednesday 29 March 2017, of the

death, on that same day, of thirteen-year-old

Sarah Bardon, who

passed away at Dublin’s Beaumont

Hospital. Sarah was a very

talented player of camogie. A resident

of Glenidan, Collinstown,

Sarah had been in attendance at

St. Oliver’s PP school, Oldcastle,

towards the end of the previous

week, when she became unwell.

Sarah subsequently died, following

a very short illness. Senior

squad training, scheduled for

Tuesday evening, 28 March, was

cancelled, enabling the senior

grade players of Lough Lene

Gaels camogie club to instead

attend a Mass at St. Feichin’s

church, Fore. That Mass was celebrated

in honour of Sarah, with

the hope (at that time), that she

would make a recovery. Alas, that

hope was dashed when news of

her death, at such a young age,

was received by Lough Lene Gaels

camogie club the following day.

Sarah Bardon was a talented

Lough Lene Gaels camogie club

player, and she featured very

much as part of the teams that

won Westmeath U14 ‘A’ camogie

championship titles in 2014 and

TOPIC • 20 April, 2017

District Notes - Nótaí na gCeantar



2016, and a Westmeath U14 ‘B’

camogie championship title in

2015. Officers, members and players

of Lough Lene Gaels camogie

club visited the Bardon residence

on Friday 31 March to extend sincere

condolences to Sarah’s family,

and pay their respects to a

young lady who was bright,

upbeat and always positive. The

following day, Saturday 1 April,

Lough Lene Gaels camogie club

was officially and very well represented

at Sarah’s funeral Mass,

celebrated at St. Feichin’s church,

Fore, the choir of which Sarah

was a much-loved member. Several

officers, players covering all

grades, and rank and file members

of Lough Lene Gaels camogie

club were in attendance.

Afterwards, Sarah was laid to rest

at St. Andrew’s cemetery, Multyfarnham.

Lough Lene Gaels

camogie club, at this dreadful

time, extends sincere condolences

to Sarah’s parents, Bernadine and

Brendan, brothers Conor, Thomas

and James, grandmothers Kitty

Keogh and Rita Bardon, aunts,

uncles, cousins, other relations,

school friends, and many others

who had the honour of knowing

Sarah. Her untimely death has

left her family, Lough Lene Gaels

camogie club, and the locality in

which she lived in a state of great




Mary Elizabeth Gavan, Clonageeragh,

Fore, died peacefully

on Monday 3 April at the Midlands

Regional Hospital,

Mullingar, having previously been

in the care of the staff of the

neighbouring Cluainn Lir care

centre. Subsequently, the

deceased lady rested in repose at

the Cluainn Lir care centre chapel

on Wednesday 5 April from 4pm

until the funeral cortege

departed at 6.15pm. The funeral

cortege concluded its journey at

St. Feichin’s RC church, Fore, at

7pm, where mourners said

prayers. On the following day,

Thursday 6 April, the funeral

Mass of Mary Elizabeth Gavan

was celebrated in that same

church, commencing at 10.30am.

The deceased lady was afterwards

laid to rest at St. Mary’s

cemetery, Collinstown. Mary Elizabeth

Gavan was predeceased by

her husband John Gerrard Gavan

in September 1996, and by her

son Eamonn Patrick Gavan in February

1976. Mary Elizabeth Gavan

is mourned by her sons John,

Michael and Paul, daughters-inlaw

Ursula, Jackie and Meg,

grandchildren Matthew, Dominic

and Lucy, Joe, Conor and Rosie,

other relations, neighbours and

friends. R.I.P.



Collinstown/Fore Community

Games Organisation will hold its

2017 confined athletics and field

sports day at Castlepollard Community

College on Sunday 30



Kevin Cribben, a resident of Hill

Road, Collinstown, died peacefully

at the Midlands Regional

Hospital, Tullamore, on Monday 3

April 2017. The following day,

Tuesday 4 April, the deceased

gentleman rested in repose at his

residence from 4pm to 8pm. The

following day, Wednesday 5

April, the funeral Mass of Kevin

Cribben was celebrated at St.

Mary’s church, Collinstown, commencing

at 12 noon. The

deceased gentleman, who was

predeceased by his wife Maeve in

August 2014, was afterwards laid

to rest in St. Mary’s cemetery,

Collinstown. Kevin Cribben is

mourned by his son Enda, daughters

Rosalie and Claire (Spain), sister

Maureen Diskin,

daughter-in-law Olive, sister-inlaw

Nancy, grandchildren Shauna

and Lee, nieces, nephews, other

relations, neighbours and friends.



Next Sunday, 23 April, is divine

mercy Sunday, which will be

marked at St. Mary’s church,

Collinstown, where celebrations

will commence at 2pm, with

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

A priest will be available

for confessions. Chaplet of divine

mercy will be recited, commencing

at 2.30pm. Please note that

there will be no 11.30am at

Collinstown next Sunday.



Lough Lene angling association

held its second competition of

the 2017 angling season on

Lough Lene on Sunday 9 April.

The competition in question was

the Peadar Caffrey cup competition,

a trout-angling competition,

with results as stated.

1st - Marc Regan - 2.12kg.

2nd - John Brennan - 1.98kg.

3rd - D.J. Byrne - 1.62kg.

In the juvenile section, the winner

was David King.



Congratulations to Oliver O’



Collinstown, a native of Drumcree,

on winning a division 5 All

Ireland badminton title with

Westmeath at the National

Indoor Sporting Arena, Abbotstown,

Dublin, on Sunday 2 April.

Clothing Collection Fundraising


The locally based Lough Lene

Gaels camogie club currently has

its clothing collection fundraising

venture for 2017 up and running.

Donations of items of clothing

would be very sincerely appreciated.


Abbey House (Coffey’s), Fore,

hosted a lotto draw of the local

hurling and camogie clubs for a

jackpot of €1,700 on Sunday 9

April. Numbers drawn were 4, 7,

27 and 28. The jackpot was not

won. Two match 3 winners of €75

each were Ita Halpin, Fore - c/o

Seven Wonders public house,

Fore and Paul Isdell, Collinstown -

c/o yearly ticket. Next lotto draw

of the local hurling and camogie

clubs takes place at Doyne’s,

Glenidan, next Sunday night, 23

April, for a jackpot of €1,800.





Congratulations to Madonna

Darby and Nigel Heffernan on

the birth of their beautiful baby

boy, born recently. This is a very

lucky young man - he has three

big sisters to spoil him. Congratulations

Madonna and Nigel; we

wish you all the luck in the world

with your new arrival.


Happy birthday to Ciara Swords,

who celebrated her birthday last

week end. Ciara celebrated her

20th birthday on Friday last.

Hope you had a very happy birthday

and a great day. This greeting

comes from all your friends and

neighbours. Happy birthday,


Pictured enjoying the recent Milltownpass GAA Club Dinner Dance were

Emma O’Neill and Tony Loftus.


Jackie and Christy would like to

extend a very warm invitation to

all to come along to the weekly

pub bingo every Wednesday

night in the Hill Bar, where we

promise you will have a great

night of fun and craic, and also a

chance to win some money. You

will also meet with friends, so

come along and enjoy the night

and good luck - we guarantee

you will be back every week for

the fun.


We extend deepest sympathy to

the Hill family on the death of

their sister Imelda, who died after

a short illness last week. To

Imelda’s broken-hearted family,

her husband, family, sisters,

brothers, sisters-in-law, brothersin-law,

nieces, nephews, family,

relations, neighbours and her

many friends, we extend our

deepest and most sincere sympathy.

May she rest in peace.




Killucan library will be closed on

Good Friday, 14 April, and

Wednesday 19 April, and will reopen

on Friday 21 April at

10.30am. The opening hours for

the library are as follows:

Wednesday from 1.30pm to

5.30pm and 6.00pm to 8.00pm,

and every Friday from 10.30am to

1.30pm, and again from 2.00pm

to 5.00pm. Books can be renewed

by telephoning the library H/Q on

044-93-32162 or Mullingar library

on 044-93-32161, or you can

email library@westmeathcoco.ie

or do it online with your PIN. You

can phone Killucan library on

044-93-74260. New members are

always welcome to call.


Raharney and Killucan GAA are

organising cardiac screening to

help prevent Sudden Adult Death

Syndrome. The screening is being

provided by Advanced Medical

Services. The dates for the screening

are 29 April and 6 May, it will

take place in Killucan community

centre, and the cost will be €65

per person. If you are interested,

pre-booking is essential as places

are limited. To book your place

(1) go to www.ameds.ie (2) click

on ‘online booking’ and (3) enter

clinic code: Killucan, or call 1890-

300-333. It is important to know

that both Raharney and Killucan

GAA are solely facilitating access

to the cardiac screening.

Advanced Medical Services (AMS)

are providing the cardiac screening

and applicants for the service

are responsible for booking with

AMS and any further testing is

the sole responsibility of the

applicant. Please note age is 12

years or upwards. Further queries

on www.ameds.ie.



Please let Fr. English know if

there is somebody is sick in hospital

and would like a visit. Confessions

will take place Fridays after

Masses and after Saturday vigil

Mass. The first Friday Communion

calls will be this Friday to all

the parishioners who are sick or



The vigil mass will take place

every Saturday evening for the

month of April in Raharney

church at 6.00pm.





Results of draw held on 11 April:

there was no jackpot winner.

Numbers drawn were 9, 10, 14

and 30. 3 match 3 winners

receive €70 each. Next draw takes

place on 18 April for a jackpot of



Draw held on 10 April. Numbers

drawn were 2, 17, 20 and 26. The

jackpot was not won. €40 euro

winners: Carmel Somers, Mark

Geraghty, Ena Nolan, Ryan Small,

Roisin and Bronagh Rooney. Next

draw on Monday, 17 April for a

jackpot of €5,800.



A wonderful unique event will

take place in our community on

Saturday, 29 April, with the official

opening of the visitor centre

at Uisneach, from 8pm, with the

option of a heritage tour at

6.15pm (bring wellies). Through

the kind generosity of the Clarke

family, this event will be a

fundraiser for Loughnavalley

Community Development. LCD,

in conjunction with Westmeath

Community Development Limited,

is actively working on issues

relating to the future development

of Loughnavalley and surrounding

area. Tickets €10

(include heritage tour, food and

entertainment), available from

committee members and at Fox’s



Young teachers Orla Glennon

and Grace Coughlan will undertake

charity work in post-earthquake

stricken Nepal for the

month of July 2017. It’s almost a

year ago since the devastating

earthquake which left millions

homeless in what was already a

very poor country. In order to

raise vital funds, the girls will host

a fundraising table quiz in Kerrigans

pub, Mullingar on Friday, 28

April at 8pm. €40 for a table of

4. Your support for this most

worthy cause will be much appreciated.

Well done, girls.


Well done and grateful thanks

to our fabulous choir who performed

so brilliantly (as usual)

during the Easter ceremonies. A

great tribute to Andy, Maedbh

and the wonderful group of people

who make up the choir. We

are so lucky.



Next meeting will take place

Thursday, 27 April, when

fundraising events will be discussed.

All welcome. 8pm at the

parish hall, Loughnavalley.


The club meets each Monday

morning from 10.30am at St.

Michael’s hall, Castletown-

Geoghegan. Lots of activities and

trips throughout the year, and

refreshments are served. You will

be very welcome.


Deepest sympathy is extended

to Mrs. Evelyn Gibbons, Ms. Kathleen

Lowry and all the Lowry

family on the death of their sister,

Mrs. Rita Carr. Ar Dheis De go

raibh a anam dhillis.




The winners of our game on

Tuesday 11 April were as follows:

1st 13 games - Johnny Ward and

Eilish McDonnell: €65 each. 2nd

10 games - Seamus McCormack

and Eamon La Hart, Danny Walsh

and Fr. Tom Bardon, Michael

O’Shaughnessy and Seamus Glennon,

Donal Boland and P.J. Fox,

Michael Carroll and Mai Fox: €15

each. Last game - €15 each: Maureen

Farrell and Seamus Robbins.

€10 each (10 games): Michael

Feeney and John Egan. Spot

prizes of €15 each: Sean Molloy,

Eilish McDonnell, Pat Greene,

Michael Carroll, John Egan and

Joe Minnock. €10 each: Agatha

Boland, Eamon Walsh, Sean

Byrne and Andreas Dolan. Ladies

prizes of €10 each: Anne Connell

and Dolores Ryan. Thanks to all

who supported the game, which

was in aid of South Westmeath

Hospice and raised €650 towards

this deserving cause. We also

thank the non-card players for

their support. Don;t forget our

next big game on Tuesday 2 May

at 9.15pm with €1,500 in prizes.

Admission will be €10. Our normal

game continues on Tuesday

18 April, commencing at 9.15pm.

Admission is €10 all-in.



We were saddened to learn of

the death on Sunday 9 April last

of Peter McCormack, Ferboy,

Moate. The deceased, who was in

his ninetieth year, had been in

failing health for a couple of

years. He was the only son of the

late Peter and Nellie (née Casey,

Bishopstown). Peter was predeceased

by his mother in 1934, his

father in 1946 and his wife Monica

(Mona) (née Johnson, Castledaly)

in 2012. Our sympathy is

extended to his sons John, Con

and Peter, daughters Georgina,

Monica and Dolores, and the

extended McCormack and Johnson





No winners of the jackpot. The

jackpot is currently at €7,600.

Tickets at local Post Office or any

RCD member. Next draw is Monday,

1 May in Connaughton’s Bar.



Application Forms for September

2017 are now available from

the school and should be

returned before 30 April 2017.


Training for underage every

Saturday at 1pm for ages 4 and

up. All new members welcome.



As part of this year’s Maria

Edgeworth Literary Festival there

will be a Guided Tour of Tullynally

Castle in Castepollard. The Castle

was a favourite place for Maria to

visit, and on Sunday, 7 May a bus

will leave from the Park House

for Tullynally where visitors will

be taken on a Guided Tour of the

Castle and Gardens by members

of the Pakenham family. Tickets

cost €15 which includes bus and

entrance to the castle. The Bus

will leave at 2.30pm from The

Park House Hotel. The Guided

Tour of Castle and Gardens will

be at 3.00pm. All welcome.

Places are limited so early booking

is advisable. Tickets can be

bought from the Development

Office at the Old Schoolhouse 043

6671801 or from J & M Gift

Stores. This promises to be a

lovely afternoon trip so don't

miss and book early.


As part of the Maria Edgeworth

Literary Festival 5th-7th May

2017, a Poetry Workshop will

take place on Saturday 6th May

2017 in The Old Schoolhouse, Ballymahon

Road, Edgeworthstown,

Co. Longford, at 11am to 1.00pm

by Professor Iggy McGovern who

published collections of poetry

with Dedalus Press in 2005 and


Booking essential, maximum 20

places. Fee is €20. Book online at


Tel: 043-6671801 or email:





Just a reminder that the

National Championships take

place in The Community Centre in

Multyfarnham on Saturday, and

Sunday, 22 and 23 April, starting

at 11am on Saturday and 10am

on Sunday. This is the first

National Event in Pickleball and it

is a massive honour that the

event is held in Westmeath so

hopefully our local team do well.

Good Luck to all involved.


All scheduled classes are continuing

from 18 April.

This includes Pickleball on Mondays

and Fridays at 10.30am in

Multyfarnhan Community Centre.

On Mondays at 12 noon crafts

take place in Ballinafid and

Woodcarving at 2pm.

On Tuesdays, Go For Life is at

11am and ceramics at 2pm in Ballinafid

for 1 hour.

On Wednesdays in Ballinafid, at

10am Arts and Acrylics at


Computers takes place at 7pm

and line dancing takes place for 1

hour in Ballinafid.

Walking football continues in

Multyfarnhan at 10:30am in the

community centre also for 1 hour.

On Thursdays there is art and

watercolours at 10.30am and

7.30pm in Ballinafid.

Yoga takes place on Fridays at

11am in Ballinafid.


Monthly meetings continue at

12:30pm on the first Tuesday of

the month. Next meeting is

scheduled for 2 May in Ballinafid.


All spaces on the provided bus

for the 5 May trip to Glasnevin

are booked.

This promises to be a lovely, historic

and cultural day out for

members to enjoy.


Birthday wishes to Mr Seamus

Meehan whose birthday was last



Well done to Jake O’Neill who

duck won the race and thanks to

all who supported and helped

out on the day.


Well done and thanks to all who

helped to plant trees and tidy up

the Village last Saturday.


Sympathy to the Family and

Friends of Mrs Margaret O Keeffe

Ballinafid. May she rest in peace.


TOPIC • 20 April, 2017



Divine Mercy Devotions will

take place on Sunday next,

the Feast of Divine Mercy,

April 23rd, in St. Mary’s

Church, Cluain Lir Care

Centre, Mullingar, at 3pm.

All welcome.



Oaklawns, 1st anniversary.


A light is from our

household gone,

A voice we loved so still,

A place is vacant in our


That never can be filled.

Love from Denver, Darwin,

Mairéad and Justin.


You’ve been gone one

whole year and nothing is

the same,

It sems like it was just

yesterday the angels called

your name.

Our memories of you will

never fade away,

You are always on our


We wish that there was a

way for the year to rewind,

We wish that we could see

you and hear your voice

once more,

We wish we could talk and

laugh like we did before.

Mary, we can never say

goodbye to you

Because we could not bear

the pain.

Instead we say we love

you until we meet again.

Love Mam, your sisters

Christine and Mag, brothers

John, Tom, nieces

and nephews, sister-inlaw,

brother-in-law and

extended family.

Deadline for


of Classified

Ads is 5pm

on Monday




anniversary. In loving

memory of my husband,

Jack, late of Russellstown,

Mullingar, whose

9th anniversary occurs

on April 19th, 2017.

No special day is needed

For us to think of you,

You are ever in our hearts

and minds,

No matter what we do.

Sadly missed by your

wife, Etna, brother-in-law,

Seán and all your friends

and relations.

Anniversary Mass will be

celebrated in the Church

of the Holy Redeemer,

Ballymore, on 23rd April

at 10am.

REILLY, ROSIE - Ashbrook,

Derrinturn, 2nd

anniversary on April

22nd, 2017.

A beautiful memory dearer

than gold,

Of a daughter whose worth

can never be told.

There’s a place in our

hearts no one can fill.

We miss you, Rosie, and

always will.

Love and miss you forever,

Mammy and Daddy


Those we love don’t go


They walk beside us every


Unseen, unheard but

always near,

Still loved, still missed and

very dear.

Missing you every day,

dear Rosie. Martha, Bridget,

Paula, Sharon and

families xxxx



seventh anniversary. In

loving memory of

Joseph, Joe, Keegan, late

of Castlelost, Rochfortbridge,

whose seventh

anniversary occurs on

April 24th, 2017. R.I.P.

We hold you close within

our hearts,

And there you shall remain,

To walk with us throughout

our lives,

Until we meet again.

Deep in our hearts you are

always there,

Loved and remembered in

every prayer.

Sadly missed by your loving

wife, Brigid xxx, sons,

daughters, sons-in-law,

daughters-in-law, grandchildren

and great-grandchildren.


Belvedere, Mullingar.

10th anniversary. In loving

memory of a dear

husband and father,

whose 10th anniversary

occurs on April 19th,


Our lives are all so

different now,

From what they used to be,

All because you are not


To share our company.

Along the road to


That leads us straight to you,

Are memories of happy


Together we once knew.

Your loving wife Mary,

daughters Fiona, Siobhan

and Denise, and son-inlaw

Alan. Anniversary

Mass in Gainstown

Church on Sunday, April

23rd at 11am.


Ticknevin, Carbury,

whose 26th anniverary

occurs on April 26th.

A day that’s filled with


Returns to us today

To mark the day you left us

In such a sudden way.

Your name is often spoken,

Our thoughts are with you


You haven’t been forgotten

And you know you never


Although we’ll always miss


We know we’re not alone,

That you are watching over


In a place you now call


Missed and always

remembered by your loving

wife Ann, sons Declan

and Gerard, daughters

Rosemary and Trisha,

daughters-in-law, sonsin-law

and grandchildren.


McNAMEE, DES - Late of

Clonmore, Rhode, Co.

Offaly, whose first

anniversary occurs on

26th April, 2017.

Your life was love and


Your love for your family


You did you best for all of


We will always remember


God saw you getting tired

When a cure was not to be,

He closed his arms around


And whispered come to me.

Our lives are all so

different now

From what they used to be,

All because you are not


To share our company.

Life brings us happiness,

But can quickly turn


It brings a grief that’s hard

to bear

For loved ones left behind.

Your resting place we visit,

We place some flowers

with care,

But no-one knows the


As we turn and leave you


Sadly missed by his wife

Biddy, sons Finnian,

John-Patrick, Desmond

Jnr., daughters Geraldine,

Annette, Jane and

partners, mother Carmel,

sister Bardis, daughtersin-law,

fourteen lovely

grandchildren, sister-inlaw

Molly and husband

Joe, nieces, nephews and

extended family and


O’REILLY, ALICE - Greenwood

Park, Edenderry,

whose 14th anniversary

occurs on April 22nd.

We didn’t often tell you,

But then we thought you


How much you really

meant to us,

We thought the world of


You paved the way for us,

You made our childhood

days complete,

You taught us in our days

of youth

The way of goodness and

of truth.

So for all these things we

want to say

How much we love and

miss you every day.

Always loved and remembered

by your sons,

daughters and grandchildren





Late of 5 Woodlawn

Drive, Clonbullogue,

whose birthday occurs

on April 19th.

There is a road called


Where thoughts and

wishes meet,

We walk that road with

love today

To the one we cannot


And now it is your birthday,

It’s up to God above

To tell you how much we

miss you

And give you all our love.

Dearly missed, your loving

wife Margaret and








044 9348868





Must have HACCP &

cooking experience

Phone: 087 1257435

Email sweeneyben@eircom.net


required for Carbury GAA Clubhouse

The newly refurbished clubhouse is located in a

rural GAA club in Carbury, County Kildare.


• A minimum 3 years Bar management experience

an advantage

• Good communication and interpersonal skills

• Good sense of humour and motivational skills

• Ability to manage staff

This is a full time position and the successful

candidate must be available to work weekends.

Please send CV to:


Closing date for applications Monday 24th April.

Midlands Licensed Premises


Excellent Terms & Conditions

Busy Location

The ideal candidate must have a genuine

interest in the hospitality industry, be

motivated, pleasant and ensure an efficient and

personalised service is delivered to customers.

Replies to: recruit@topic.ie

Job Ref. 14750



• Business Cards

• Invoice books

• Posters

• Magazines

• Letterheadings

• Books

• Full colour work a speciality

• Keen prices

• Professional service always

• Call the experts today


Newspapers Ltd.

6 Dominic Street,


Tel: 044 9348868

TOPIC • 20 April, 2017 CLASSIFIED ADS 25







KITCHEN for sale, black

counter top, stainless

steel double sink, extractor

fan, glass press, window

pelmet, lots of

cupboard space. €1,300

o.n.o. 087-943-3979.



SALE, Ideal Standard Bi-

Fold 800, colour silver,

brand new (selling as

size not suitable) €160

o.n.o. Phone 085-739-

4172. 3(04.05)


and corner entry enclosure

with bi-fold door, 2’

5” square, like new.

Would cost over €300

new, quick sale €200. No

time wasters please.

Phone Anne 086-326-

7187. 3(04.05)


perfect condition, as

good as new. 087-291-

4420. 3(27.04)


AL-KO, Briggs and Stratton

engine, 656cc, less

than 50 hours work done,

both mulch and collect.

Phone 087-254-2479

after 6pm. 3(27.04)



unwanted gift, perfect,

Mullingar town. 087-276-

3715. 3(27.04)


for sale, sides for tractor

trailer, suit turf trailer, 11ft

long x 7ft wide x 4.5ft

high, dual wheels for

tractor, size 13x6x36,

tractor spring harrow.

087-351-6223. 3(27.04)

RIVER SEAT BOX including

2,500 attachments,

brand new. 086-350-

3117 or 087-334-6065.


MAVAR POLE, 13.5 metre,

plus sections and holdall.

086-350-3117 or 087-

334-6065. 3(27.04)


LAND ROLLER, perfect

condition, €300. 087-

162-6095. 3(27.04)

DINING TABLE (extendable)

and 6 chairs. Best

offers. Also 6 burner gas

catering cooker in good

condition. Phone 046-

973-9203 or 087-192-

8702. 3(20.04)


sale, size 14, white satin,

heavily sequinned and

very long train. Also 10-

year-old girl’s party

dress, satin, white and

red, very pretty. Phone

046-973-9203 or 087-

192-8702. 3(20.04)


and corner entry enclosure

with bi-fold door, 2’

5” square, like new,

would over €300 new.

Quick sale €200. No

time wasters please.

Phone Anne on 086-326-

7187. 3(20.04)


CLES for sale, very good

condition, €90 for both or

will sell separately. 086-

393-2346. 3(20.04)


BOARD, antique style, in

perfect condition, €80

o.n.o. 086-393-2346.



8ft CABINET (dining

room), mahogany. €125.

087-280-4205. 3(20.04)

TABLE FOR SALE in perfect

condition, €60.

Includes glass protector.

Chairs not included. 085-

153-6980, if interested.




in Edenderry and

surrounding areas, suitable

for all ages, beginners

to advanced. Phone

Paul 087-167-3964.




would like to meet similar-minded

people for

friendship and socialising.

Text 085-203-4809.




PUH, engine rebuilt,

resprayed, lots of money

spent, showroom condition.

€4,500. 086-086-

4805. 3(27.04)


for sale, sides for tractor

trailer, suit turf trailer, 11ft

long x 7ft wide x 4.5ft

high, dual wheels for

tractor, size 13x6x36,

tractor spring harrow.

087-351-6223. 3(27.04)

MAVAR POLE, 13.5 metre,

plus sections and holdall.

086-350-3117 or 087-

334-6065. 3(27.04)


LAND ROLLER, perfect

condition, €300. 087-

162-6095. 3(27.04)


4230 TRACTOR for sale,

4 wheel drive, good condition,

reasonably priced,

and a Ferguson cutting

bar also for sale. 085-

137-4744. 3(20.04)



ABLE: Perfect for wedding


etc., 5” x 12” diameter.

Contact Adam on 087-

911-9544 for details and

best price. 3(20.04)



to good home. Contact

089-469-6282. 3(20.4)






& DOORS LIMITED, Lisclogher,

Delvin: Suppliers

of PVC windows,

doors, sunrooms, full

glass service, new Palladio

composite doors.

Fully tax compliant for

the new government renovation

scheme. For

more information on

upcoming exhibitions or

for a free quote check out

our website, www.westmeathwindows.ie,

or call

Eugene on 086-601-

5325. 6(04.05)



SALE. Tractor trailers,

jeep trailers and bags.

Contact Gerard Glennon

on 087-959-8813.




TURF, sold in truck lorry

loads, discount on second

load. Contact 087-

141-3238. 3(27.04)


Where an advertiser is

using a Box number, CVs

must be emailed to

recruit@topic.ie. quoting

the relevant box number

in the subject line.


minding child (children).

Experienced, flexible

time, Kinnegad area.

Phone 087-952-8661.




For the convenience of

readers, please state

town or village in which

accommodation is

located when placing

accommodation adverts.


semi-detached house to

rent in Ardleigh Vale,

Mullingar, €750 per

month. Tel. 087-177-

2364. 3(27.04)


RENT with adjoining

waiting room. Adjacent to

acupuncturist and chiropractor

in Natural Health

Clinic, 6 Dominick Street,

Mullingar. Excellent main

street location with wonderful

natural light. For

details please contact





STONES: Martin Nolan,

Rathcobican, Rhode, Co.

Offaly. Telephone: 046-

973-7327 or 046-973-

7073 or 087-262-2704.

Catalogue available on

request. Personal attention.




invitations, Mass booklets,

place cards, etc. all

available at competitive

prices from Topic Print &

Design. All personalised

to individuals’ taste.

Samples can be viewed

at Topic Print & Design

Facebook page or phone

044-934-8868 / 085-739-

4172 for further info.



HIRE: Large castles with

12ft slides, also new

super slide and smaller

castles. Taking bookings

now for Communions,

Confirmations and parties.

Phone 087-747-

6601. 14(29.06)



castles with slides,

obstacle courses, high

slides, disco dome, inflatable

bar. 086-3689-279.




antique furniture, gold

and silver jewellery -

even broken, clocks,

watches, china, especially

tea sets, books,

medals, all military memorabilia,

coins, Irish bank

notes, plus anything collectable.

Single items or

clearance. Free valuation.

Open 7 days a

week. Telephone beforehand.

Denis King & Son,

Antiques and Curios,

Longwood, Co. Meath.

Telephone: 046-955-

5120; mobile: 087-753-

6835. 51(19.02)




CLEANING. Family business,

over 40 years’

experience and knowledge

at your fingertips.

Fully qualified and registered,


trained. High-powered

twin vacuum, brush and

scraper used in the

cleaning of wood pellet

systems, back boilers,

ranges, stoves, open

fires, household and

industrial oil burners.

Also available the latest

technology in power

sweeping for hard to

clean chimneys. Complimentary

advice for all

customers, along with

free smoke and draw test

on all chimneys. Colin

Allard. Office: (044) 922-

6436 and 087-793-6719.



Where an advertiser is

using a Box number, CVs

must be emailed to

recruit@topic.ie. quoting

the relevant box number

in the subject line.


Looking for part-time or

full-time work? Then we

have the perfect solution.

We require reliable persons

to distribute, collect

catalogues and take

orders from customers.

Flexible hours - no experience

needed - no cash

outlay. For more information,

ring now on mobile

087-335-8088 and ask

for Reggie. 3(04.05)


REQUIRED (live-in) for

elderly lady. Garda vetting

essential. Apply with

references to Box No.

32249, Topic Newspapers,

Dominick Street,

Mullingar. 3(04.05)



year contract, Junction

Tullamore - 3rd level

qualification and commercial

experience. Min

2 years’ full driver’s


www.midlandjobs.ie, Job

Ref 16496. 3(04.05)


Miller & Cook Mullingar.

Sous Chef, Commis Chef

& Pizza Chef. Relevant

experience essential.


Job Ref 16494. 3(04.04)


CIAN - Weirs Pharmacy,

Mullingar. Relevant qualification

plus 1-2 years

prev experience in community



Job Ref 16481. 3(04.05)


STAFF - Annebrook

House Hotel, Mullingar

- Min three years experience

in a similar role,


Job Ref 16500. 3(04.05)


Forus Training, Mullingar

- Qualified health or

social care Professional

+ Training credentials,


Job Ref 16499. 3(04.04)

DELI COOK/CHEF - Buckley’s


Mullingar. Min 2 years

relevant experience.

Excellent communication,

presentation and

organisational skills,

HACCP, and IT skills,

www.midlandjobs.ie, Job

Ref 16488. 3(04.05)


(weekends) - Mullingar/

Kinnegad area, P/T. Min

2 years experience,

weekend work essential,

family meals. Full clean

driver’s licence. Excellent

pay + performance

bonus. www.midlandjobs.ie

Job Ref: 16480.





B.Ag or similar -

Mullingar. Good Communication

and IT skills, full

clean driver’s licence. UK

travel essential.


Job Ref: 16475. 3(20.04)


MLS Labels & Printing

Systems, Mullingar -

Degree or Equivalent in

Graphic Design, Adobe

Illustrator, Photoshop, 3

years experience.


Job Ref: 16487. 3(20.04)


STERER - J. Shaw Furniture

Design, Mullingar.

Minimum 3 years experience

or part-qualification.

www.midlandjobs.ie Job

Ref: 16483. 3(20.04)

Sell your



items for





Where an advertiser is acting

in the course of a

trade or business, this

must be clearly stated in

the advertisement, i.e.,

the name of the garage

must be included.

2002 PEUGEOT 307 1.4

diesel hatchback, colour

silver, 4-door, lady driver,

very economical, 62

miles per gallon. Long

NCT and tax. NCT to

August, taxed to October.

4 good tyres, central

locking, electric windows.

Drives very well. Perfect

as a starting car, low

mileage 196,294. Looking

for a quick sale.

€1,300. Phone Anne on

086-326-7187. 3(04.05)


SALE: 2014 Kia Ceed

1.6 crdi, 5dr, black; 2013

Peugeot 308 1.6 HDi,

5dr, white; 2013 Kia Rio

1.1 CRDi, 5dr, black;

2013 Hyundai i20 1.1

CRDi, 5dr, white; 2012

Peugeot 308 1.6 HDi,

5dr, black; 2011 Kia Rio

1.5 CRDi, 5dr, silver or

black, 2011 Zafira 7-

seater, 5dr, silver. All

cars have warranted

miles and 2 years NCT.

Phone 9224592 or 087-

256-8748. 3(27.04)

1999 SKODA PETROL 1.4,

NCT to Jan 2018, very

clean car, two lady owners,

p.m.o., €250. 087-

934-6199 after 6pm.


2007 VW PASSAT 1.9

DIESEL, NCT Nov 2018,

genuine family car from

new, 146,000 miles, serviced

regularly. 086-253-

7883. 3(20.04)

2001 PEUGEOT 206 LX,

1.4 petrol, 4-door,

118,000 miles, tax just

out, NCT January 2018,

colour blue, excellent

tyres, JVC stereo, front

fogs, owner’s manual.

Any inspection welcome.

No time wasters. Price

€540 o.n.o. Call 086-

386-0837. 3(20.4)


Acceptance of an advertisement or payment

thereof is not to be taken as implying guarantee

that the advertisement will be published. The

right is reserved to refuse to insert any advertisement,

without giving any reason; also to discontinue

the publication of any advertisement

previously published, without com - pensation for

any loss or damage claimed for non-publication.

Publication of an advertisement cannot be guaranteed

on a specific week or at all, whether or not

a particular week has been stipulated by the

advertiser, and the company will not be liable for

any loss claimed by such omission, whether from

all editions or any particular edition or editions of

the paper. Right is reserved to alter any advertisement

without liability for any compensation for

such alteration. Further, the company does not

accept liability for any loss or damage caused by

an error or inaccuracy in the printing of any

advertisement. Placement of an advertisement is

deemed as acceptance of above conditions.

26 TOPIC • 20 April, 2017



The Keena clan from Gaybrook had a huge double party night recently in Caffrey’s Lounge in Mullingar. On the night, Pat Keena celebrated his 70th birthday while his granddaughter,

Leah Keena celebrated her 18th birthday. Our Out & About snapper was around town on the night and dropped by to capture the celebrations.

Got a special night planned and would like Mick to drop in? Call 087-2797270. If at all possible he will make it.

Birthday girl Leah Keena celebrated her birthday

with grandfather, Pat Keena.

Some of the Keena family members and friends who gathered for the birthday celebrations.

Vickie Caulfield pictured with birthday girl,Leah.

Megan McCullagh and Liam Faulkner pictured on

the night.

Pat pictured with long-time neighbours, Liam and Alison Hickey.

Deirdre Kelly, Mary Keena and Kelly McDermott

pictured on the night.

Pat and Mary Keena from Gaybrook pictured in


Pat and Mary pictured with their daughters Kathryn Farrell and Marianne


Emma Kennedy and Leah Keena pictured.

Darragh Faulkner and Kacelyn Farrell pictured at the

birthday celebrations.

TOPIC • 20 April, 2017


Send your letters to The Editor, Topic Newspapers Ltd, 6 Dominic Street, Mullingar, Co Westmeath



Dear Sir,

To scapegoat a handful of

nuns for the Tuam Mother

and Babies home is reprehensible.

That some TDs

are fanning the flames of

hysteria is utterly shameful.

We are collectively

responsible for what is

wrong in our society today

– impoverished children,

the homeless, child abuse.

Our parents and grandparents

are collectively

responsible for what happened

in Tuam and similar

places in the 1920s up to the


This not the responsibility

of a handful of nuns

who were volunteering

their service free of charge

to unfortunates largely

rejected by society, without

financial support from the

State. In the words of an

Irish journalist, the Tuam

saga is an example of

“tragedies of the past used

to vent prejudices of the


Tom Slevin,


Co Mayo

Still a strong

religious sense?

Dear Editor,

Maybe I read figures differently to everyone else, but a

State that has nearly 4.2 million of its people from a population

of around 4.7 million, stating that they have a religious

affiliation is still a State with a strong religious

sense. After the many sad stories and horrendous

breaches of trust, it shows that people can still differentiate

between church and religion.

Yours etc.,

Dermot Lacey, Donnybrook, Dublin 4

Justice is needed in

‘Grace’ case

Dear Editor,

It appears that all of the information surrounding the

‘Grace’ abuse case in Waterford is known, regarding who

was involved in her care and the different events that happened

during her care period. If that is the case, why is

there a wasteful commission of inquiry being set up that

will not result in anyone being held accountable?

Instead of holding such an inquiry, surely at this stage

An Garda Síochána ought to get involved and initiate a

criminal investigation into the whole affair and bring all

those culpable to justice? This needs to be done in order to

get justice for Grace and to protect others who may be in

care now and in the future.

Yours etc., Christy Kelly, Templeglantine, Limerick

Impact of Brexit on Irish


Dear Editor,

The writer of a recent letter ‘Trump has a mandate’ was

certainly right that the EU will neither consult nor negotiate

with Taoiseach Enda Kenny about our need for concessions

and special arrangements to lessen the

disastrous impact of Brexit on our economy.

Like it or not, we are joined at the hip with the UK, so our

approach to Brussels must be to take charge of our own

destiny, with the courage to demand that our needs be satisfied

- or we will quit too.

Yours etc., William Shortland, Blessington, Wicklow

AIB, taxpayers and small investors

Dear Sir,

Minister for Finance

Michael Noonan intends

selling shares to small

investors as well as institutions.

It would suit him better

to reimburse the small

investors burned by AIB’s

2008 collapse. We, the citizens,

bailed this bank out

at a huge cost to hospitals,

education, infrastructure,

etc. Retiring in late 2007, I

purchased a significant

number of AIB shares. The

bank itself at that stage

had gone rogue, but the

Irish regulatory system

failed us. So, Mr Noonan,

you made a huge show of

paying anonymous bondholders.

Anything left over

for Paddy the Serf ? Stop

laughing, reader.

Yours etc,.

John Cuffe,



Dear Sir,

Having read the letter last

week (13 April) about the

new cycleway from

Mullingar to Athlone,

alongside the railway

track, I can’t but think it

pathetic that our town is

once again allowing itself

to be shoved to one side. I

happened to be in Athlone

last Friday, and read the

comments made by Cllr.

Frank McDermott, Co.

Council Chairman, when

he was with Minister

Shane Ross, cutting the

tape to open the Greenway

officially. I thought the

Taoiseach had done that

down in Moate, but now

Athlone becomes the top

spot. No mention of

Mullingar I could see, and

Cllr. mcDermott talked

about the numbers cyling

from Athlone and the new

lights erected and a whole

lot more, and made it all

sound as if the new cycle

and pedestrian way had

been started in Athlone.

The truth is, of course, it

all began in Mullingar, and

the Council Chairman got

the wrong end of the stick,

or was given it by his advisers.

Signs on it, Athlone is

shouting about the new

Greenway, while here in

Mullingar, unless you

know where the entrance

e-mail: news@topic.ie

Comment about

railway “Greenway”

Dear Editor,

The majority of TDs who

were democratically

elected to Leinster House

on a platform which

included the abolition of

water charges and an

Oireachtas committee on

the future of water funding

now appear set to hammer

the final nail into the coffin

of the water charges fiasco.

Yet, Housing Minister

Simon Coveney has

already declared that

despite the overwhelming

tide of democracy against

him, he will not legislate to

bring about the abolition of

water charges. Instead, he

has lazily labelled the push

to abolish the charges as

“populist”, as if he sees

abiding by the democratic

will of the people as something

to be derided.

The problem is not that

our elected politicians are

standing by their democratic

mandate. The problem

is the arrogant, ideological

obstinance of Mr Coveney

to it is - down in Clonmore -

you would never find it.

I can’t understand what is

wrong with our local public

representatives. Are they

all asleep, or do they like to

see Athlone always getting

the upper-hand? It must be

something in the psyche in

the Westmeath capital.

Anyway, just wanted to say,

I find it hard to swallow,

with this second “official


Sorry I can’t allow my

name to be printed, but I

might find myself getting

‘demoted’ for speaking my


“A Mullingar native”

(full details with Editor)

Relaxing at the St. Oliver Plunkett’s Hurling Club Annual Dinner Dance

recently were Nairy and Noel Gavin.

Paying for our water

Dear Sir,

It now looks as if water charges will be

abolished, and even the proposed charge

for excessive use will be fudged.

This is a huge mistake as general taxation

will not be in a position to provide the

massive resources required to upgrade

water and wastewater systems to the standard

expected by the Irish people. As a

third of workers pay no tax, a small number

of taxpayers will pay for everyone

else’s wastage. This is nonsensical. Furthermore,

taxpayers living in rural Ireland

on private schemes (well and septic tank)

will not only have to pay up to €500 per

annum for their own services, but will also

have to pay for the services of urban households

through their taxes. If a substantial

subsidy is not introduced for rural households

to give them equal treatment to those

living in towns and cities, they should

refuse to pay their property tax until this

inequality is addressed.

Yours etc.,

John Daly,

Shrule, Carlow

The elite must not dictate to the majority

and his ilk, who think that

they are somehow noble in

imposing their minority

agenda on the majority.

We must not let the will of

the elite few dictate the

lives of the ordinary majority.

That is not a “populist”

stance, that is democracy.

Yours etc.,

Simon O’Connor


Dublin 12




Did we

alarm you?

In last week’s editorial, we commented on current

attitudes towards Christian beliefs now prevailing

in many areas. We briefly described how

millions of those who try to live by the Easter message

that Jesus Christ brought, and lived out in

the first Easter Week, are now being actively persecuted.

And we described also, how anyone who

dares to stand up in a public place today - even in

Ireland - is looked upon with scorn by powerful

interest groups, and treated as if they were

afflicted by a serious form of infantile naivety.

Last week, some Topic readers, it seems, took

exception to the overtly Christian line taken. And

even moreso to our suggestion that the world may

now be facing another, more deadly and destructive

international conflict than ever before. “Over

the top stuff” was the unspoken attitude, even if

only letting us know in a “nice” way, that we

shouldn’t be “taking life so seriously”.

We found it almost amusing, but sad, that Irish

people who regard themselves as smart and sophisticated,

felt it was offensive that we should express

so openly our Catholic beliefs and viewpoint in a

“secular” local newspaper.

“It might be better if you kept that sort of stuff

to yourself. I mean, in your own interests,” was

how one person knowingly expressed it. We don’t

doubt the words were spoken with sincerity, but we

felt sad. So sad that we’ve regressed to the point

where so many are now utterly blinded by the prevailing

blinkered and make-believe attitudes to

what life is about. Who was it that once described

life as no more than “a permanent possibility of

sensation”? That’s how too many of our fine young

people now behave – having been led seriously

astray in their thinking. Over the Easter weekend,

for instance, so many of them saw no further than

getting “sloshed” by over indulging in substance

abuse, and all that goes with it. The highpoint of

their Easter weekend? Is that the best that our

homes, schools and our universities – and our socalled

‘clever’ opinion formers - can give them in

2017? So very sad to watch, while civilised behaviour

and lifestyles collapse all around us. Even

while normal home life is being torn apart, marriages

collapse and young minds are subverted

and seduced by what amounts to organised statesupported

indoctrination into perverted thinking,

we prefer to pretend this is ‘normal’. And we’re

conditioned to get annoyed and upset on hearing

about anything so ‘unpleasant’ as religious persecution,

or the possibility that we could be obliterated

in an instant by misguided world leaders, or

crazy people intent on killing others they disagree

with. On Sunday, well-known Irish writer Brendan

O’Connor wrote a powerful but very sad piece on a

national newspaper. We found it sad because Brendan

spoke sincerely but conveyed a message not of

hope, but of despair. Reflecting on life’s realities

and the final words of the four rescue helicopter

victims, he wrote, about death: “We’re gone. In

those two words are all of it. We are now going to

die. That’s the end of everything.” His words epitomise

so much of today’s sad and sorry philosophy,

when people no longer see Christian belief and

religion as relevant and central to their lives. They

live by a different code, one which puts free-thinking

and reason in first place, and turns life into little

more than a ‘permanent possibility of


Two verses we learned in primary school many

moons ago come to mind. One went: “Two men

looked through prison bars, one saw mud, the

other stars”. The second was a verse from Longfellow’s

“Psalm of Life” which went:

“Life is real, life is earnest, and the grave is not

the goal.

Dust thou art to dust returnest, was not spoken of

the soul.”

Is not our philosophy just as validly held as that

expressed by Brendan? And if we say “Brendan,

we beg to differ with you about what life and death

really are,” should we be condemned?


TOPIC • 20 April, 2017



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- 10L for €23

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TOPIC • 20 April, 2017









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30 TOPIC • 20 April, 2017


John Gillick was

everybody’s friend

IT WOULD be quite

impossible to put into

words the genuine feeling

of shock, sadness

and disbelief occasioned

by the news of

the untimely and unexpected

passing of John

Gillick, Coralstown, on

Wednesday morning,

12th April.

A very wide community,

privileged to know him,

was united in an outpouring

of grief the sense of

loss was palpable such was

the love and esteem in

which he was held.

It was early in 1986 when

John and his beloved wife

Adrienne arrived in the

Coralstown area and set up

home with their young

children and within a short

space of time the young

couple established A & J

Newsagents, a convenience

store which became a central

part of the community.

John had a deep knowledge

of and vast experience in

the retail trade and using

these attributes, complimented

by his pleasant and

endearing personality,

built it into a landmark

business. He had a genuine

welcome for his customers

and treated young and old

with great courtesy and

dignity and everyone

enjoyed his relaxed

approach, John gave them

his time and his fun-loving

characteristics were never

far from the surface, he was

a fantastic wit and always

used it to best effect. He

had a great affinity with

the children and always

gave them lots of time to

select their favourite goodies

claiming that it was

important to get it right as

they were customers with

very discerning tastes and

needed to be completely

satisfied with their purchase.

The Gardaí wish to

advise parents and young

people that all school

grounds, within the

parish, are strictly out of

bounds for the duration of

the school holidays and

nobody should trespass on

the grounds or school

buildings without the permission

of the School


In the past young people

have, innocently, entered

onto school grounds to

play games, but it would

seem that others have

taken advantage of the situation

and caused damage

to the buildings. Therefore,

anyone caught on the property

of the different

schools in the area, without

the permission of the

The late John Gillick.

Gillick’s beautiful home

is somewhere very special

and a visit is always a very

warm and positive experience,

a home where love,

fun and music radiates

from every corner. It was

here that the lifelong honeymooners

reared their

wonderful family instilling

in them traditional family

and community values

encouraging each of them

to realise their own individual

potential, to push

out the boundaries with

their youthful energies and

open up the new horizons

life has to offer. Family life

was all-important to John

and he was at his very best

in their company, this was

a unit of equals and he

treasured every moment

with them.

The quietly spoken John

was always interesting

company; a highly intelligent

man with a treasure

trove of knowledge, he was

also great fun, his storytelling

or quick comment

could have you in knots of

laughter, you always left

John feeling the better of

having shared time with


John possessed a very

caring nature and so many

who knew him benefitted

from his generosity of

spirit, in his own quiet way

he reached out to those

experiencing difficulty, he

was so genuinely interested

in everyone’s wellbeing.

So many tributes

were paid to the genial

John, many stories before

unheard but that was the

measure of the man, when

he reached out to others he

did so privately. Yes, a close

friend put it in context

when he said; “John Gillick

was everybody’s friend”

John’s passing has left a

deep void in his adopted

Coralstown community, a

void that will be difficult to

fill, but the memory of one

of life’s finest gentlemen,

his pleasant and caring

personality, the great fun

times we all shared will

bring a smile and laughter

back into all our lives, just

as John would want.

On Wednesday morning,

12th April, John slipped

quietly from this life bringing

to a close a life dedicated

to family, church and

community and he did so

with great confidence in

the new life opening up for


Large numbers from all

walks of life and from far

and near gathered at the

reposing on Saturday

evening in St Camillus

Chapel and many returned

the following morning to

support the Gillick family

and to celebrate his very

meaningful life in his beautiful

funeral Mass, the family

participation and the

entire celebration reflecting

so positively on John’s


John’s beloved wife and

soul mate Adrienne, daughter

Leesa, sons Seán and

David, daughter-in-law

Miriam, aunts Marian and

Jane, extended family, relatives

and friends, not forgetting

Freddy, are assured

of our thoughts and

prayers during this sad and

trying time. Solas na

bhFlaitheas ar a anam


School grounds are out of

bounds during holidays

relevant Management

board, will be prosecuted

under the Public Order

legislation. The Gardaí

hope that such action can

be avoided but it is

entirely up to the parents

to make their children

fully aware of the situation

regarding school property.

An unexpected headache

for Kinnegad commuters!

COMMUTERS travelling to

Dublin by bus or car sharing

and park their cars for the day

at Main Street, Kinnegad,

received an unexpected note

attached to the windscreens of

the respective vehicles when

they returned to the town on

Thursday evening last.

Unannounced, the Westmeath

County Council’s Traffic Warden

arrived in the town during the morning

and checked and recorded the

vehicles parked along the Main

Street, a number of hours later the

Warden returned and once again

checked all vehicles. Vehicles that

had not been moved from the original

inspection were issued with parking

fines. On returning to their respective

cars quite a few of the owners

were shocked to see the ticket

attached to their windscreen stating

that they were unaware of the parking

restrictions but when the number

of signs advising that parking was

restricted to a two hour maximum it

appears that they could have little

argument only for one motorist in

particular saying that it was “going

to be a headache for quite a number

of commuters”. The fine is €40, an

expensive commute for some last One of the cars caught up in last week’s parking ticket blitz on Main


Street, Kinnegad.

Don’t be caught by

unscrupulous callers

With the welcome

stretch in the days we are

all preparing to do some

Spring-cleaning and a little

refurbishment around

the house but take the

advice of the Gardaí when

they advise householders

to exercise caution when

answering the door or

talking to strangers who

call to their homes offering

different services.

Don’t allow anyone into

your home without first

knowing their identity or

satisfying yourself that

there is nothing sinister

about their intentions.

A number of incidents

have been reported in

which people, especially

those living in rural

areas, have been

approached by people

travelling in vans offering

to do work around their

homes. In a number of

such cases people have

The Club’s weekly

Lucky Numbers draw

took place on Monday,

10th April, and the first

four numbers out of the

big drum were; 8, 15, 16 &

30, there was no lucky

winner of the €3,800 jackpot.

Coming closest to a

jackpot with match-three

numbers was, ‘Byrnes c/c’

c/o Alan Woods, winning

the €200 cash prize.

Congratulations to the

‘Byrnes c/c’ and best of

luck to everyone in next

week’s draw, with the

jackpot hitting the €4,000


‘Drive Thru Bingo’:- The

GAA Club’s hugely popular

Drive Thru Bingo will

be held in the Club’s

agreed to have work done

and hand over their hard

earned money only to find

that they have been duped

by these gangs of

unscrupulous thugs.

Please heed the advice of

the Gardaí, never allow

strangers into your home,

never agree to have work

done in or around your

home unless you are completely

satisfied that they

are reputable people doing

the work and never hand

over money until the work

is complete to your satisfaction.

If you have any

doubts about anyone calling

to your door you

should immediately contact

a close neighbour and

the Gardai.

The Gardai can make

themselves available if

you wish to talk to them

on home security or any

other matter that may be

of concern to you.

Coralstown/Kinnegad GAA

Lucky Numbers Draw

Grounds on Sunday, 23rd

April, commencing at

3.00pm sharp. Always a

great attraction for the

Bingo enthusiast and it’s

no wonder with up to

€7,000 to be won on the

afternoon and that

includes a guaranteed

jackpot of €2,000, nice if

you can win it and it

might be you with the

lucky cheque!!

Sympathy: - All associate

with the


GAA Club wish to extend

their deepest and heartfelt

sympathy to the Gillick

family, Coralstown, on the

untimely passing of John.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a

anam dilis.

60th birthday

celebrations for

Joseph Ennis

Congratulations and

many happy returns to Mr

Joseph Ennis, Cloneycavant,

Killucan, on the

solemn occasion of his 60th

birthday which occurred

on Saturday last and was

celebrated in the fashion

befitting the very

restrained and humble gentleman.

Family and a few friends

gathered in Nanny Quinn’s

famous restaurant for a

sumptuous meal enjoyed

by everyone and this was

followed by a short speech

lasting one hour and eight

minutes, from the guest of

Congratulations and best

wishes to Rosaleen and

Eamon Hickey, Riverdale,

Raharney, who recently celebrated

their 54th wedding

anniversary. The popular

local couple enjoyed a

lovely family gathering for

the occasion and luckily

enough Eamon didn’t

The Club’s weekly ‘Lotto

Numbers Draw’ took place

in Scanlon’s Lounge, Kinnegad

on Tuesday, 11th

April and the first four

numbers out of the drum

were; 3, 4, 7 & 29. There was

no lucky winner of the

lucrative €11,250 jackpot

and coming closest with

three numbers were; Margaret

Farrelly, Ger & Owen

and Ken Holbrook and winning

€35 each.

Congratulations to Ken,

honour, during which he

thanked everyone for making

the effort to join with

him on the day and for the

presents he received from

some of the guests and the

lack of presents from others,

saving blushes he mentioned

no names!!

It was a most enjoyable

gathering of family and

friends and the bould Joe is

wished every good wish

from them all, including all

who have made his

acquaintance down the

years....here’s to the next 40


Rosaleen & Eamon celebrate

their wedding anniversary

break into song although

he did so only because Rosaleen

is believed to have

had him forewarned!!

The happy couple are

wished many more years of

good health and happiness

from all the family and

their many friends

throughout the area.

Kinnegad Juniors AFC notes

Ger & Owen and Margaret

and best of luck to everyone

in the next draw with

the jackpot reaching


Sympathy: - All within

the Club were deeply saddened

to learn of the passing

of John Gillick,

Coralstown, and extend

deepest sympathy to the

Gillick family on their

great loss. May he rest in


TOPIC • 20 April, 2017





Another Body & Soul Festival

meeting set for early June

Delvin heroes: Brian Herward, Josh Coll and Dean

Ennis were among the member of the Delvin

team who won the O’Toole’s tournament in

Crumlin, Dublin, last Friday afternoon.

Delvin U16 hurlers

win Good Friday

tournament in Dublin

Delvin-St. Paul’s U14 footballers

Four Delvin Cub

Scouts part of


Easter Hallelujah


As part of local tradition

going back over thirty

years, local schoolchildren

performed the Hallelujah

dance at the Easter Service

in Clonmellon last Saturday

and also in Killalon on

Easter Sunday morning.

Delvin’s U16 hurlers

came out on top in a sixteam

tournament in

Dublin last Friday

afternoon. They were

the guests of the

O’Toole’s GAA Club in

Crumlin, along with

such distinguished

clubs as Kilkenny’s

Bennettsbridge and St.

Martin’s, Lorrha from

north Tipperary and

Dublin dual star Ciaran

Kilkenny’s Castleknock


The boys from The Valley

saw off Lorrha in the opening

round before accounting

for Castleknock in the

next round. In the semifinal,

Delvin faced St. Martin’s

before upstaging the

hosts O’Tooles in the

decider. All in all, it was

tremendous achievement

for mentors John Coll and

John McCormack and their


Meanwhile the Delvin/St

Paul’s U14 footballers also

recorded a notable victory

over Tubberclair in their

Division 2 encounter in

Delvin on Thursday, 13

April, on a scoreline of 10-9

to 4-1.

This was a great team

performance and they are

aiming to build on this

result in their next match

in a few weeks time. Well

done to the team mentors

and the team.

A sizeable attendance at an

open meeting for residents living

and/or working in the areas

surrounding Ballinlough Castle

was present in the Darnley

Lodge Hotel, Athboy, last Tuesday

evening, 11 April.

The Body & Soul Festival representatives,

including co-founder

and Festival Director Avril Stanley,

The Archerstown

5km run/walk

takes place on Sunday

afternoon, 30

April. The start

time is 2pm. Registration

opens an

hour beforehand at

1pm in Brownstown


Centre. All competitors’

times will

be recorded.

Prizes for 1st and 2nd

places in men’s and

ladies’ categories. Afterrace

reception in the

Community Centre,

Aideen Darcy (Company Operations),

Megan Best (Event Operations)

and Licensing Co-Ordinator,

Rani Cameron outlined and shared

their plans for the forthcoming

event on the weekend of June 23-35.

And unlike similar pop and

music festivals, it was also

expressed by the speakers of their

intention and wish to make the

Archerstown 5Km Run/Walk

and Turf cutting event


Parish Youth Group:

The parish Youth Group

meet every Friday in

Fatima Hall from 7.30pm -

9.30pm. Young people from

First Year upwards are welcome.

Contact Laura

O’Neill 086 36442363 or see

Delvin Youth Ministry

Facebook page.

Parish Magazine:

Copies of the 2016 issue are

Final Mullingar Book Collection for Delvin Book Fair this weekend

The final book collection for

the annual Delvin Garradrimna

Book Fair takes place at the car

park entrance to Dunnes Stores

in the Harbour Shopping Centre

this Saturday, 22 April, between

11.00 and 4.00pm. And by all

accounts, the stock of books has

never been greater since the

event began seven years ago.

After the final collection next

weekend, it is estimated that

almost 30,000 books could be on

display. And many of those titles

are believed to be on the subject

of fishing and angling.

In keeping with the previous

year’s successful and enjoyable

format, there will be guest readers

among the entertainers,

including Eamon Lalor and

travel documentary maker Manchan

Magan. And there is also a

short story competition, with the

winning entries announced and

read by the guest readers.

But the day is not all about

books, with plenty of other stallholders

on view, including local

crafts and foods. All the indications

are that plans are in place

for another memorable day,

with every effort being made to

help visitors from Mullingar to

avoid the disruption as a result

of the three-month road closure

ahead of this year’s event at the

end of the month.

The Book Fair commences at

12.00 noon until 6.00pm in the

usual venue – the local Cattle

Mart in Delvin.

with all proceeds to North

Westmeath Hospice. Entry

fee is €10.

Meanwhile on Sunday, 7

May, and also jointly in aid

of North Westmeath Hospice,

there is a fundraising

turf-cutting demonstration

at Drumcree Bog, starting

at 12.00 noon.

The other beneficiary

from the afternoon on the

bog is Fore Church Window

Restoration Fund.

Music and food served all

day and ending with the

crowning of the Turf Cutting

Queen and all that

entertainment for just €10!

available from Michael

Leonard’s or the Parochial

House. Some back issues

are also available at the

reduced price of €2

Important Dates in 2017

May - Saturday 20 May -

First Holy Communion

June - Sunday 4 June - Pentecost


August - Sunday 6 August -

Cemetery Day - Killulagh

Monday 7 August - Cemetery

Day - Crowenstown

Saturday 12 August - Cemetery

Day - Delvin

annual event near Clonmellon

much more community inclusive.

In order to achieve this objective,

the organisers are offering an

enhanced volunteering package as

well as an increase in the number

of community tickets being made

available to local causes.

The attendance also noted that

this year’s event is not likely to

exceed 15,000 and that an older festival

goer will remain their target

audience. But what most of the

attendance was particularly interested

to hear was the organisers’

traffic management plan during

festival week as well as Monday 12

June when work will begin on constructing

the festival site.

Delvin girl Aideen

in contention for

Westmeath Rose

Delvin’s hopes of bringing

the Westmeath Rose

of Tralee crown back to

the The Valley rest with

twenty-year-old Aideen


A Hotel and Leisure

Management student at

Athlone Institute of Technology

and sponsored by

the Annebrook House

Hotel, Aideen goes forward

to this Friday’s

selection night at the

Radisson Blu show in

Athlone which starts at


Good luck, Aideen.

Delvin’s Rose: 22-year-old Aideen Duffy will be

carrying Delvin’s hopes at this Friday evening’s

Westmeath Rose of Tralee selection evening in


Delvin couple’s fundraising

Croagh Patrick climb next month

Ahead of a benefit night is being organised for

brain haemorrhage victim and Clonmellon man,

Eamonn Smith, on Friday, 28 April in the Darnley

Lodge in Athboy, it was announced that the Body

& Soul Festival will also be making a donation to

his cause. The young man faces a long and quite

expensive road to recovery for all the treatment he

will require.

A group of his friends has now come together to

orangise this special night for him and hopefully

also raise the necessary funds for him to acquire his

Up to 150 climbers have so

far volunteered to join Ballivor-native

Gordon Farrell

and his Swedish-born partner

Jessica Eriksson on

their fundraising climb of

Croagh Patrick on Saturday,

6 May. Proceeds from

their hike will go to the

Jack & Jill Foundation in a

kind gesture of thanks for

the support they received

from the organisation following

the death of their

baby son, Noah, who was

aged just three weeks.

Noah’s short life was the

result of a birth defect condition

known as hypoplastic

left heart syndrome,

which affects the development

of the heart during

pregnancy. His parents’

climb of Croagh Patrick

will therefore help to fund

the same kind of care for

other grieving parents that

they received both before

and after Noah’s death.

Sponsorship cards are

still available from Jessica

and Gordon by e-mail

request on: Jessica.ericksson@live.ie

or just telephone

on Mob: 087 6850214

or 087 2283041. (See interview

with Jessica and

Craig in this week’s edition).

Body & Soul Festival to make a donation to Eamonn Smith Fund

treatment and rehabilitation or any support that

will make life easier for him.

Matt and Paul Leavy will provide the entertainment

with some special guests. An auction is also

being organised. Tickets of the evening are €15

and available from Williams Daybreak, Leonard’s

Shop, Clonmellon, Bird’s Centra, Athboy, Athboy

Post Office, McCann and Byrne, Athboy and The

Darnley Lodge. For further details please contact

Gerry on 087 949 0586.

32 TOPIC • 20 April, 2017



news briefs

St Michael’s Parish Easter

Draw on Sunday week

St Michael’s Parish

Castlepollard will

hold an Area Eastertide

Draw on Sunday,

30 April. The draw

will take place after

9.30am and 11.30am

Masses in St John

Paul II Parish Centre,

Church Street, Castlepollard

and it will be

held in conjunction

with a Cake Sale and

Coffee Day.

The prizes include first

prize of €500, second prize

of €250, third prize of a

painting, fourth prize of a

cake, fifth is a rocking

horse and sixth is a

voucher. Entry to the draw

is just €2 per line or six

lines for €10.

The funds from the draw

will go towards the establishment

of the Men’s Shed

building in the Old School

and will also assist with

Finea Church repairs, as

the church is 111 years old

and in need of repair.

Cards for the draw are

available now from any

Parish Committee member

and your support is greatly


Sharing and reading of

Poetry in Castlepollard


Castlepollard Library will host a ‘Sharing and

Reading of Poetry’ in conjunction with Poetry

Ireland Day on Wednesday, 26 April from

11.30am until 1pm. The Sharing and Reading

of Poetry will be hosted by poet PD Lyons.

If you are coming to the

event why not bring along a

poem you like, maybe one

of your own, someone

else’s or even a lyric or two

from your favourite song.

You can read it yourself or

if you are feeling shy, we’d

be glad to read it for you.

The event is free, but

spaces are limited so be

sure to book a place with

the library by phoning 044-


Slippery road surface

to be reviewed

A North Westmeath councillor

welcomed the news

that improvements to the

surface of the Coole to Multyfarnham

Road are to be

considered in this year’s


Cllr. Paddy Hill raised the

matter in his motion to the

March meeting of

Mullingar Municipal District.

Cllr. Hill requested

that the council would

carry out improvements to

the surface at the bend

close to The Friary as he

has had reports that this

stretch is very slippery.

It was confirmed to him

that the sought after works

could be considered in the

2017 Surface Dressing Programme

and he welcomed

this response.

Flooding at Coole

is being repaired

Flooding at Fearmore, Coole has been a persistent

problem over a long number of months

and there is good news as the matter is now

being investigated by Westmeath County Council.

This was the confirmation

given to Cllr. Frank McDermott

when he raised the

matter at a recent meeting

of Mullingar Municipal


Cllr. McDermott described

the flooding as “constant”

and he welcomed the news

that the matter is being

looked at with a view to

resolving the issue.

Tidy Towns Spring

Clean on Saturday

Castlepollard Tidy Towns

will hold their Spring Cleaning

Day on Saturday, 22

April from 10.30am until

12.30pm. All those interested

in helping out Castlepollard

Tidy Towns on the

day can meet at the Town

Hall. The group will attempt

to clean as many roads and

areas as possible and all are

welcome to assist.

Fundraising events for Claire

Graham Ginnell continue

The kindness and generosity of the people of Castlepollard and north Westmeath has once again come to light as

the community has rallied around superbly to support the fundraising efforts of Claire Graham Ginnell, who is

orginially from Castlepollard and who has been diagnosed with a very serious form of cancer.

Claire, who lives in

Dublin but is originally

from Ballymanus, Castlepollard,

was diagnosed

with Triple Negative Breast

Cancer - a particularly

aggressive and fast moving

cancer that can only be

treated with chemotherapy.

Three months after her

diagnosis, Claire’s one year

old son Harley was diagnosed

with Retinoblastoma

(cancer of the eye) and subsequently

had to have it

removed. Not only did

Claire have to go through

her own treatment but she

also had to look after

Many people

involved in the local

Tidy Towns group in

Castlepollard were

very annoyed to discover

that a sign

they had erected was

vandalised over the

past week.

The sign, a very informative

sign, was erected on

the Finea Road, approximately

two years ago. The

sign is situated at the

entrance to a looped walk

that connects the Finea

Road up with Water Street.

The walk takes in many

aspects of nature in the

area, and those who frequent

this walk may see

some of the many birds,

insects, plants, flowers and

all colourful aspects of

Harley as he went through

his treatment and struggled

to cope with his prothesis.

At the end of 2016 Claire

was supposed to start radiotherapy,

which should have

signalled the end of her

treatment. However, she

was having headaches and

was referred for an MRI

and unfortunately the cancer

had spread to her brain.

In early 2017 it was also

discovered that her breast

cancer had returned.

Claire’s only hope is a drug

called Pembrolizumab but

this drug is only available

in England and will cost

The talk will take place in

Castlepollard Library on

Thursday, 27 April at 11am

and will last approximately

45 minutes with time

allowed for questions and

answers or discussion

afterwards. Booking for

this event is essential

though and those interested

should contact the

library at 044-9332199 or

email: cpdlib@westmeathcoco.ie

Noel Monahan has published

six collections of

poetry the most recent

being: ‘Where the Wind

Sleeps: New and Selected

Poems’ which was published

by Salmon Poetry in

2015. In the autumn of 2014

he did a US tour giving

readings in the universities

of Minnesota and Iowa.

This talk should appeal to

all lovers of Irish poetry

because it deals with an

Irish poet who made his

mark both nationally and

internationally. John Montague

was the author of

over 30 books of poetry,

essays, memoir and short

stories. In 1998 he was

named the first Ireland

Professor of Poetry, a three

year appointment to three

Irish Universities (North

and South) established in

Claire in the region of

£85,000 (€100,000).

It is here that the people

of Castlepollard and the

local areas have stepped in

and shown their generosity.

After the very successful

Breakfast Morning was

held in the Hotel Castlepollard,

which we reported on

last week, raised in excess

of €5,000 a number of other

events were organised.

Last Monday afternoon,

Easter Bank Holiday weekend,

Club 50 Castlepollard

held a Motorbike Fun Run.

The run began in Whitehall

and there was a tremendous

turn out of bikes, bikers

and spectators. After

the bike run a monster raffle

was held to raise more


Also on Easter Monday

last a Fundraising Walk

was held in Mullaghmeen

Forest. Once again this

event was very well supported.

Other events which are

coming up which will support

the Claire Graham

Fund are a Table Quiz

which will take place on

Friday, 28 April in McCormack’s

Pub, Castlepollard.

Tables of four will cost just

the spirit of the Good Friday


Montague was honoured

by the French Government

in 2010 by being made a

Chevalier de la Legion

d’Honneur and was the

recipient of a Life Time

Achievement Award at the

Bord Gais Energy Irish

Book Awards last year.

Montague forged important

literary friendships in

Ireland, France and the

U.S., in Paris he was a

drinking companion of

Samuel Beckett and as a

visiting professor at the

University of California,

Berkeley he came in contact

with the ‘Beat Generation’


“Inner and Outer

Landscapes: a closer look

at John Montague’s


Noel Monahan is well

equipped to deliver this

talk which he calls “Inner

and Outer Landscapes: a

closer look at John Montague’s

poetry” as he is

himself a former teacher

and a practicing poet. His

own work has been translated

into French, Italian,

Romanian and Russian – a

collection of his poems in

French translation was

published in 2015. Noel

€40 and there will be a raffle

on the night.

Then on Friday, 12 May, a

fundraising night of entertainment

will be held in the

Hotel Castlepollard, with

music by Rhythm and

Sticks. Tickets are just €10.

If you want to buy a ticket

and you cannot attend on

the night then just contact

Valerie on 089-4385777, or

Catherine on 087-9576907 or

Shirley on 089-4976081. Your

support for any of these

events is greatly appreciated

by Claire Graham Ginnell

and family.

Disgraceful vandalism to sign in Castlepollard

Disgraceful vandalism to sign in Castlepollard

nature. To let people know

of the various birds, flowers

and insects in the area a

sign was erected by the

Tidy Towns committee at

the entrance to the looped

walk, but last week that

sign was vandalised.

Speaking to Topic this

week, Carol Hayden of the

Tidy Towns committee

expressed her great disappointment

at the vandalism

that took place. The

side of the sign was broken

as can be seen by the photo.

“These vandals have no

respect,” said Carol. “It is

so hard to fund raise these

days. It is a very informative

sign and the man who

put the sign together went

to a great deal of trouble.

We are a voluntary group

and now we will just have

to fundraise again. It is

very frustrating.”

Talk on the poet John Montague to celebrate

Poetry Day Ireland in Castlepollard

As a way of marking Poetry Day Ireland, Westmeath County Library is offering the public a chance to hear award

winning poet, Noel Monahan, give a talk on John Montague, one of the 20th century giants of Irish poetry who

died in Nice in December 2016 at the age of 87.

Monahan is a native of

Granard and is now a fulltime

professional writer

living and working in

County Cavan.

The talk with take place

on Thursday 27th April

(Poetry Day Ireland) in two

venues in Westmeath:

Castlepollard and Athlone.

In both cases admission is

free but booking is essential.

The talk will take place in

Castlepollard Library on

Thursday 27 May at

11.00am, for booking contact

the library at 044-

9332199 or email: cpdlib@


TOPIC • 20 April, 2017




The ‘Special Category Award’ went to Castlepollard Community College and was accepted by

Micheál Cassidy of Castlepollard Community College. Also pictured are North Westmeath St

Patrick’s Day Parade Committee members Donie Cassidy, Liam Cheevers, Ollie McCormack,

Sean Montgomery, Martin Smyth and Mick Comiskey.

‘Best Sporting Club’ award went to ‘Rainbow Farm’ and pictured are from left, Sean

Montgomery and Kevin Farrelly both North Westmeath St Patrick’s Day Parade

Committee, Sheila O’Brien and Anne-Marie Galligan of Rainbow Farm, and Martin

Smyth and Jimmy McIntyre, North Westmeath St Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.

North Westmeath St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2017 Awards

‘Best National School’ float went to St Feichín’s National

School, Fore. Receiving the prize on behalf of the school were

Lorna McCormack, Aisling O’Neill Brady and Orla Gallagher

and in front were Luke Brady, Clodagh and Sean Gallagher.

Also pictured are Martin Smyth and Mick Comiskey of the

North Westmeath St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.

‘Best Overall Float’ was won by the Mullingar Vintage Club and was presented to

the members of the Club by Martin Smyth, Chairman of the North Westmeath St

Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.

Ollie McCormack, St Patrick’s Day Parade Committee,

presented the Best Business Float award to Alan

Charles, Kevin Farrelly and John Bonham. On right is

Martin Smyth, Chairman of the St. Patrick’s Day

Parade Committee. The award ceremony was held in

‘Town and Country’ Castlepollard.

After another fine

North Westmeath

St Patrick’s Day

Parade on Friday,

17 March, the presentation


awards for the

parade took place

in the Town and

Country Pub in

Castlepollard on

Sunday, 9 April.

During the presentation

of prizes former

senator Donie

Cassidy recalled

the great parade on

St Patrick’s Day

and thanked all

those who participated,


and supported the


North Westmeath St Patrick’s Day Parade 2017 Award for the

Best Vintage Float went to Mullingar Vintage, from left;

Marcella Garvin, Avril Flynn, Roger Garvin, John Gavin, Paul

O’Brien and Martin Smyth (North Westmeath St. Patrick’s Day

Parade Committee). In front are Nicola and Megan Mulvanney.

Mullingar Vintage also won ‘The Best Overall Float’ award.

‘Best Hurling Club’ award went to Castlepollard Hurling Club and was

accepted by Ollie McCormack, Castlepollard Hurling Club, and was

presented by Liam Cheevers, North Westmeath St Patrick’s Day Parade

Committee. Also pictured is Donie Cassidy MC for the Parade and for

the Presentation Night.

North Westmeath St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2017

‘Funniest Float’ went to ‘Simply Unbelievable’ entered

by the Delvin St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.

Representing the Delvin group are from left; Michael

and Elizabeth Moran, Anne and John Ayres, Larry

Monaghan and Carmel Moran. Carmel was presented

with the award by Eoin O’Neill, North Westmeath St

Patrick’s Day Parade Committee 2017.

‘Best Shop Window Display’ award went to the local

Castlepollard ICA for Hotel Castlepollard window display.

Present to accept the award from Ted Fagan, North

Westmeath St Patrick’s Day Parade Committee were from left;

Betty Brady, Doréen Slevin, Annie Fagan, Maureen Coghlan,

Rose Madden (President of Castlepollard ICA), Phil Brennan

and Celie Whyte. Partly hidden is Pauline O’Reilly.

‘Most Topical Float’ went to the ‘Donal Trump’ float with

Tony Moore, North Westmeath Parade Committee

accepting the award. Also pictured are Mick Comiskey,

Sean Montgomery and Martin Smyth all from the North

Westmeath St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. Missing

from the photo was Tony Corrigan.

34 TOPIC • 20 April, 2017


Bord Bia launches new

Quality Assurance Scheme

BORD Bia launched a

new Sustainable Beef

and Lamb Assurance

Scheme (SBLAS) last


The SBLAS sets out the

agreed standards for the

production and certification

of Irish beef and lamb.

The new scheme was

designed in collaboration

with the sector stakeholders,

to meet the demands of

global food buyers for verifiable

proof of Ireland’s

sustainability claims.

The scheme is accredited

to the International Standard

for Product Certification

(ISO 17065) by the Irish

National Accreditation

Board (INAB), which

approved the scheme in

recent days.

A Technical Advisory

Committee has worked on

the scheme over the past 18

months, according to Bord

Bia’s CEO, Tara McCarthy.

“The Irish food sector has

proven yet again that its

collaborative approach to

meeting new challenges

can deliver a scheme that is

the envy of our competitors.

The commitment of

Irish beef and lamb farmers

to meeting the standards

of the new SBLAS

will ensure its success.

“In turn, the introduction

of a close-out period and a

helpdesk facility will make

the scheme more userfriendly,

while audit feedback

will assist in

delivering lower production

costs at farm level.

“By incorporating sus-

Peter Burke T.D.

Looking after

the needs of the

Farming Community

Constituency Office

Blackhall Court,

Blackhall, Mullingar,

Co. Westmeath.

Tel 044 9385044

Mob: 087 7941888



tainability into the new

scheme we have simplified

our message to international

customers, giving us

an edge on our competitors

with a single, independently-certified


that covers the quality and

sustainability of our beef

and lamb.

“This scheme will be welcomed

by food buyers who

are seeking to, or are

already, responding to the

demands of their consumers

at retail and foodservice

levels for

sustainably-produced quality

food,” McCarthy said.



The SBLAS will be introduced

in the coming weeks

and it will replace the existing

beef and lamb quality

assurance audits on a

phased basis over the next

18 months.


The environmental, social

and economic principles

of sustainability are apparently

embedded in the

requirements of the new

scheme, which also draws

on data provided on-farm

in recent years – to establish

the carbon footprint of

enterprises under the Origin

Green programme.


The scheme provides for

a close-out period, during

which farmers will have a

month to rectify non-compliances

at audit, without

losing their certification



In an effort to make the

scheme more user-friendly,

Bord Bia will introduce a

helpdesk facility to assist

farmers to prepare for

audits and with close-out of




The new scheme will also

incorporate standards for

the use of pesticides onfarm,

which is already a

requirement of the EU Sustainable

Use Directive and

is aimed at ensuring

responsible use of pesticides

in the environment.


For farmers, says Bord

Bia, sustainable production

enables efficient production

– as it involves

minimising the amount of

resources including energy,

feed and water used by


www.ireland-forestry.com • (068) 32266

- Forestry premiums between

€510 and €635/ha/year for 15 years.

- Grant covers establishment

and maintenance of forestry.

- Tax free income.

- Draw down your full

basic farm payment.

- Retain full ownership

of land and timber.

- Revenue from timber sales.

Contact us for a free consultation and site visit

enterprises; as well as

implementing measures

that enhance the environmental

performance of

their enterprises.

According to Bord Bia,

these sustainability measures

also typically deliver

economic benefits through

lower costs of production.


It is hoped the scheme

will benefit the marketing

of meat in several ways,

including demonstrating

the commitment of Irish

beef and lamb farms to

‘green’ farming practices.

Bord Bia claims that beef

and lamb sourced from sustainable

farms will gain

access to markets that

demand certification. This

will help to “create a preference

for Irish beef and

lamb among valuable customers

with stated sustainability

targets”. –


At the launch of the new Quality Assurance

Scheme were Bord Bia's Quality Assurance

Director Michael Maloney, farmer Stephen

Morrison and Bord Bia auditor Pat Kelly.

Bernard Kiernan

Midlands Forester

087 2809774

Labour must be

included in cost of

Irish milk production,

says ICMSA

A detailed analysis

must be carried out to

determine the full costs

associated with the production

of milk in Ireland,

according to

ICMSA President John


“We are meeting Teagasc on

this issue over the coming days.

This ties in with a study to be

carried out by the European

Milk Board, which will identify

the full costs of producing milk

in each EU member state.”

He added: “Labour must be

included in all productionrelated

costs. The costs associated

with succession must also

be included. Farmers must have

the opportunity to take time off

and spend downtime with their


“And, obviously, there is a cost

associated with all of these activities

– which must be reflected in

the official cost base compiled

for the milk sector.

There is a deficit in understanding

of production costs – at

all levels within the milk industry.

Commenting on the prospects

for farm-gate milk prices, Comer

said that the next few weeks will

be critical.

“We have seen successive price

rises at the last two Global Dairy

Trade events. This trend is also

being reflected in the Ornua

price index. So there is genuine

scope for processors to move


Agri Service






086 605 5768

ICMSA President John


milk prices forward to some

extent, over the next couple of

months at least.

“After that, we get into the

volume game. It’s a reality that

the 2% of the world’s milk that

is traded internationally dictates

the price received by the global

dairy sector as a whole.”

Comer said that if world milk

output remains steady over the

coming months, this should

impact on farm-gate prices


This holds out the prospect of

Irish milk producers enjoying a

stable year, relative to 2016.”

He gave no credence to the

view that problems faced by

other dairy nations, such as the

recent floods in New Zealand,

would boost the dairy sector in

this country.

“Our own governance measures

should be sufficiently

robust to allow us to have control

over our own destiny – at all

times,” he concluded. – agriland.ie



• grow more and

better grass

• add life to soil

• also all types of

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087 7544317 • 087 2307034






TOPIC • 20 April, 2017



DOWN MOATE WAY With The Rambler

Minister Humphreys

launches new Renewal

scheme in Moate


The best of Irish comes

to south Westmeath

Cllr. Frankie Keena, Jimmy Redmond, Cllr. Ailish McManus and Cllr. John Dolan, Mayor of Athone,

pictured at Tuar Ard on Thursday last for the visit of Minister Heather Humphreys.


Hum phreys was in

Moate on Thursday

last, 13 April to

launch the next round

of the Town and Village

Renewal scheme.

Tuar Ard Arts Centre

hosted the Minister for Arts,

Heritage, Regional and

Rural Affairs for a second

time, on Thursday morning


Minister Humphreys was

in the area at the invitation

of Deputy Peter Burke TD.

Speaking of the launch,

Burke stated that he was

delighted to welcome the

Minister to the South Westmeath

town, but added that

it is far from her first visit to

the area.

“The Minister for Arts,

Heritage, Regional and

Rural affairs is no stranger

to Moate, having spent a Saturday

in Moate last November

viewing the facilities at

Dún na Sí Heritage Park,

meeting members of Moate

Action Group and dance students

from the Moate Performance

and Arts School,” he


“Moate was a large beneficiary

of the Minister’s Town

and Village Renewal last

year, with €70,000 awarded to

go towards the action plan

for the town.”

“The selection of Tuar

Ard, which is community

based and led, as the location

for the national launch

of the Town and Village

Renewal scheme highlights

the pro-active approach

taken by members of the

community to work on

behalf of their town and

engage positively with the

Minister. Indeed, community

activists such as Cllr

John Dolan have shown

huge commitment to their

area, which has paid dividends

for all residents,” said

Deputy Burke.

Minister Humphreys an -

nounced that the Government

is to spend another €20

million in an effort to kickstart

economic development

in 300 rural villages and


Local authorities will now

have an eight-week period to

work with local communities

in identifying projects

that will help to bring life

and business back into

towns affected by the recession.

In Moate on Thursday

morning, Minister Hum -

phreys was greeted by members

of the local community

and members of Moate

Action Group, who gave a

presentation to the Minister

in the auditorium of the arts


Peter Dolan, of Moate

Action Group outlined how

the town has fought the

rough and tough recessionary

period, with local businesses

going the extra mile

to retain custom and jobs in

the area.

Mr. Dolan said that Moate

has been very proactive in

driving improvements for

the town and the community

has given outstanding

support to several initiatives

over the past few years.

Moate has a ‘shop local’

initiative each Christmas to

underpin the importance of

the message to keep business

in the area, and a thriving

Christmas market.

Moate Action Group

spearheaded centenary celebrations

last year and Moate

was also the winner of the

prestigious Pride of Place


Dancezone to stage Pure Imagination

THE Moate based stage school

Dancezone, continues to cultivate the

talent and potential of young performers

from around the area and

with the annual show set for Wednesday,

19 April to Friday, 21 April, these

are exciting times for the troupe.

Next week, Moate Community

School’s gymnasium will be transformed

into an arena ready to stage a

great local show with an all local cast

and crew.

Established by Director and choreographer,

Sandra Julian, Dancezone

has introduced its many members to

the wonderful world of performing

live. Going from strength to strength

for more than twenty years, Dancezone

members take part in a staggering

line up of events, each a


The annual show, which will be

staged at Moate Community School,

is the jewel in the Dancezone crown

and this year, Pure Imagination will

wow audiences all over again.

The three night show will be important

occasions for the young people

who have put heart and soul into

being the very best they can be on


This time around, Dancezone members

are planning a feast for the

senses, with creative dance, combined

with stunning costumes and backdrops

playing an important part in

the production this year.

Preparations for a celebratory show

are now well in hand, making this a a

busy but joyous time for all members.

“I am very much looking forward to

this year’s show. Members are working

so hard and it is coming together

beautifully. I think this will be a real

treat for audiences,” said Sandra.

While the content of the 2017 show

is a carefully guarded secret, Sandra

promises that audiences are in for a

deluxe performance, touching on

themes from many favourites and

classics .

“We want to celebrate the occasion

that’s in it with a bang and provide

something that is uplifting in a time

of doom and gloom. Already, the

plans for the show are well underway.

It’s full steam ahead now we are

entering the final week and ready to

bring the show to the stage,”Sandra


Kate Hiney, Anne Farrell, Michael Hiney, Camillus Hiney, Aoife Hiney and

Bernadette Moran, pictured at Brosna Comhaltas’ launch of the Offaly

County Fleadh, coming to Tubber, just a few weeks ahead of the Westmeath

County Fleadh, which will also be hosted in the area, by neighbouring

Moate Comhaltas.

Happy birthday

Best wishes to Natasha McGuinness

who is celebrating her birthday this week.

A little birdie tells us that Natasha’s birthday

is this week and warmest wishes to

Natasha from all of her family and



Well done to the recent winners in the

Moate All Whites Lotto. The numbers

drawn were 11, 16, 22 and 26 and matching


MOATE, the hosts of this year’s Westmeath

Fleadh will certainly be looking forward

to a summer drenched in traditional

entertainment as neighbouring village,

Tubber is welcoming the Offaly Fleadh this


Brosna Comhaltas Group in Tubber will

be the hosts of this year’s Offaly Fleadh,

bringing the cream of traditional performers

to the pretty border village.

On Tuesday night last, Brosna Comhaltas

unveiled a line up of competitions and

events that will bring a host of entertainers

and their supporters from all over the

county to this area nestling the very edge of

south Westmeath.

It is the first of two very significant

events for the area as Moate Comhaltas will

proudly host the Westmeath County

Fleadh in May. It is a truly one off summer

for the south Westmeath district to see two

such popular events come to the area

within weeks of each other.

Banjo players, fiddlers and pipers, tin

whistlers, flutists, accordian players, come

one, come all, for the seisiún to beat all seissiúns

is coming to the area this month.

The festivities in Tubber kick off on

April 21 and no matter what the weather,

this event will be the hottest ticket in town.

The Fleadh brings a unique atmostphere,

as if whistled in on the airs of the hundreds

of all of musicians that will take part

in the uniquely Irish festival of traditional


Hosting the Fleadh will be, said Camillus

Hiney of the Tubber committee, “a great

source of pride for Tubber and all


Tubber will be a-buzz with music, dance

and entertainment over the course of the

County Fleadh, an event that will be mirrored

in Moate when the Westmeath

County Fleadh comes to town in May.

This premier cultural celebration will

take place against a backdrop of the careful

plans laid by Moate Comhaltas.

The Dún na Sí Heritage Centre will no

doubt provide a more than stunning backdrop

and as Moate looks forward to this

very exciting event, musicians and lovers

of Irish music and entertainment will happily

support events taking place this month

in neighbouring Tubber.

Combined, the two events will bring a

wealth of traditional entertainers and

their supporters to the south Westmeath


Over a few weeks in April and May, Tubber

and Moate will be a landscape of music,

song and dance that is sure to create an

unforgettable memory to those visiting the

area for the competitions.

three numbers were Catherine Ganley,

c/o Jimmy Redmond and Peter

Gillivan,c/o Jimmy Redmond. The jackpot

is now €6,000 and thanks are extended

to all who support the draw and good luck

to all players.


A big thank you to all who supported last

weekend’s race night in aid of Moate All

Whites. Thanks to sponsors and all who

made the night a good one.


TOPIC • 20 April, 2017



Ken Busteed’s, Vivaro

Swift (Droopys Scolari/

Coolbeg Gemma) completed

an unbeaten path

through the Wallace &

Murray Cesarewitch at

Mullingar on Saturday

night week last when gaining

an authoritative victory

in the €6,500 final.

Vivaro wasn’t the best

away and Mays Melrose led

on the run-up but was

headed into the bend by the

rapidly improving Vivaro

Swift. Young Willie Mc followed

him through into

second and that was the

order down the back

straight with Vivaro enjoying

a four length lead.

At this stage the second

favourite Droopys Smasher

was back in last position

but she got going into the

third bend and she was

fourth turning for home as

Vivaro led comfortably

from Young Willie Mc and

Mays Melrose.

At this stage Droopys

Smasher began to fly and

she came through to finish

second but some two and a

half lengths adrift of the

winner Vivaro Swift who

stopped the clock in 33.23.

Droopys Smasher was a

good second, a length and a

half in front of Mays Melrose.

Catherine Murray, centre of photo, representing the sponsors, makes a presentation to Billy and Kenneth Busteed owners of

Vivaro Swift after he had won the Howard Wallace and Francis Murray Irish Cesarewitch Final at Mullingar Greyhound Stadium.

Also present were Sean Fogarty, Sales Operation Manager, Brendan Farrelly and Andy Murtagh, Directors Mullingar Stadium,

along with family and friends of the owners of the winning dog.

Catherine Murray representing the sponsor and

Keeneth Busteed with Vivaro Swift and the

Cesarewitch trophy.

Joe Gavin fourth from left, makes a presentation to Gerry O'Dowd after Springwell Judy won the Joe Gavin Birthday

Celebrations 525yards race at Mullingar Greyhound Stadium. Also present were Johnaton McNamee, Joseph Gavin, Duncan

Gavin, Maureen Gavin, Amanda Gavin, Leisle Gavin, Olivia Gavin, Ester Gavin and Michael Gavin.

Thomas and Marie Garry were at the Cesarewitch

final in Mullingar Greyhound Stadium on

Saturday night, 8 April.

(Above) Studying

the form for the

final of the

Cesarewitch were

Anthony Glennon,

Davy Traynor, Mick

Dinnegan and Pat


Alice Deihy and Joan Byrne were enjoying the

Final of the Ceasrewitch at Mullingar on Saturday

night, 8 April.

(Left) Enjoying the

Cesarewitch final at

Mullingar Greyhound

Stadium were John

Joe and Trevor


Jim Maxie Collins and Paddy Bedford were

busy making a book at the Final of the

Ceaserwitch at Mullingar Greyhound


TOPIC • 20 April, 2017


RACE 1, S6 400

Oldpark Sue was a gutsy

winner of the opener for

Marie Kilduff. Level away,

she stood her ground on

down by the chasing Home

Mai. The Kildare raider

stuck it out to make all by

half a length in 31.33. Clonkeen

Rex ran on for third.

Ballyfore Sky was quickest

away, and he opened up a

five length lead down the

back from the chasing

Bunatern Murry in second.

the inner to hug the rails RACE 4, A9/10 525 Bunatern Murry rounded

and lead narrowly into the The Liam O’Rourke

the final bends well though

back straight. She ran on trained Ardera Agassi

to close the gap, and he finished

strongly to get up late

well from there to win by made short work of his

one length in 22.39.

opposition on debut here. by two lengths. The winning

time was 30.18.

RACE 2, A7/8 525

First to show, he led to the

Weather Bill was out like opening turns and never RACE 7, A4 525

MULLINGAR a light here to snap up the looked back. Opening up Ruby Valley got back in

early lead. He stretched for the judge on the run in,


the win column in impressive

fashion here for David

four lengths clear of the he won by an extending 6


chasing Ely Island and lengths in a promising Hanlon and trainer Frank


Knockmay Clay, but that

30.01 for owner Catriona Seery. Pacing up well on

lead was short lived.


the inside early doors, she

There was plenty in Weather Bill checked on RACE 5, S8/9 400

spun around the opening

attendance on Saturday the run in to lose all The David Murray turns to lead by a couple

night for what turned momentum, and it was the trained Castlepalooza into the back. Despite the

out to be a great night’s Patrick Coss owned Knockmay

Clay who took full in confident style in this Supreme, Ruby Valley

backed up market support best efforts of Lapari

entertainment at the

dogs. With a few parties advantage. He got up by one. Level away, it was stuck it out to score by two

on the go to add to the four lengths in 30.31. Boynepark Blonde who and a half lengths in 29.56.

atmosphere, it made for

an enjoyable night.

RACE 3, THE BARKING swooped around the opening

bends with a two length BUZZ TRI DISTANCE


Moynevilla East ran


SEMI-FINAL A4 550 advantage. However, SEMI-FINAL, A4 550

well to score in the first

The Barking Buzz Tri The Jerry Connors

Castlepalooza soon got to Some Boyo hit the lids

Distance semi-final in owned Moynevilla East

work. Murray’s charge rallied

on the run in to get up the race, and he opened up

here to set the early pace to

Race 3, with Castleroggy was a determined all the

Tipp winning the other way winner of this contest.

by three lengths in 22.38 for

a three length advantage

semi-final in Race 8. Level away, he displayed a

owners Keith Glennon and

from the chasing

Springwell Sid and Gortmelia

Park rounded the lead by two lengths around RACE 6, A8 525

Allowdale Sarah down the<